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03.01.2007

Stalling over the investigation into abuses at Lviv SIZO

   

The lawyer of the victims in the case against ex-head of the Lviv SIZO [pre-trial detention centre] Vasyl Romanyshyn believes that the court investigation is being deliberately dragged out. The Halytsky Local Court has sent the case for further investigation.

Vasyl Romanyshyn is accused of causing bodily injuries to subordinate officers and of professional negligence. However the court has agreed that the rights of the defendant during the pre-trial investigation were infringed and has therefore sent the case for further investigation. In an interview to the Ukrainian Service of Deutsche Welle, the victims’ lawyer Natalya Krisman said that according to her information, the court’s decision had been influenced by people from higher court bodies. She added that the victims were constantly facing attempts to intimidate them. “Throughout the investigation and in the court there were threats against participants in the proceedings and against me personally. At present there could have been more witnesses in the case, however due to pressure imposed on them, many, excuse me, developed amnesia”.  The lawyer added that the victims are not demanding a stiff punishment. Let it be mild, a conditional sentence, but in the name of Ukraine – that is important. Romanyshyn denies any guilt and claims that the case is fabricated. The decision to send the case for more investigation has already been appealed in the Lviv Regional Appeal Court. The case against the former head of the Lviv SIZO has already lasted over a year.

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