International attention needed for high-profile criminal investigations going nowhere


The Co-Chair of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group Yevhen Zakharov shares the negative assessment given by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s Co-Rapporteur of the Ukrainian authorities’ investigations into high-profile crimes.

Yevhen Zakharov notes that prominent cases remain unsolved or for some reason don’t end up in court. He believes that the problem lies with political pressure on the Prosecutor General. “Unfortunately in recent years, since the time of Kuchma the prosecutor’s office has been used for political ends, insisting that certain investigations be initiated, carried out, uncovered, while others are, on the contrary, to be hidden away, and not investigated and passed to the court.”

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, PACE Co-Rapporteur in her latest report on Ukraine from 3 July states that international interest in investigating crimes in Ukraine is needed to overcome internal opposition.  In the case of the murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze, for example, Ms Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger calls for public attention to the circumstances of the death of Yury Dagaev, Head of the State Department of Affairs [DUS]. Originally from the Kharkiv region, Police General Dagaev died of a stroke in summer 2003, before possible interrogation as a witness into the Gongadze case.

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