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15.05.2010

Prosecutor seeks to remove deputy immunity from two opposition members of parliament

   

The Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office has initiated a criminal investigation against two National Deputies from the Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence Party, Yury Hrymchak and Andriy Parubiy over the events in the Verkhovna Rada on 27 April. As reported, there was mayhem in parliament before the vote on the Kharkiv Agreements between the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia, with smoke bombs and fights making world headlines.

The investigator has lodged a submission to the Verkhovna Rada asking that the Deputies’ immunity be removed, and this has been supported by the Prosecutor General.

Mr Parubiy told Channel 5 (http://5.ua/newsline/179/0/66246/)  that he had received no documents on the initiating of the criminal investigation and had learned of it from the press. He said that in their actions, the investigators were totally ignoring the law and called it political persecution.

It is extremely difficult to ascertain who was involved in the events on 27 April and who in fact initiated the mayhem. Certainly among the evidence presented this week by Ukrainian journalists of censorship was a news story making allegations which are quite at conflict with the ruling coalition’s version. Since the number of deputies registered was more than 20 less than the number who supposedly voted for ratification, there are already major question marks regarding who was in parliament that day. 

The only person to have sustained quite serious injuries was another member of the opposition, Oles Doniy, yet there would seem to have been no attempt to initiate a criminal investigation against those believed to have assaulted him.

This present criminal investigation was made public at the end of a week in which former Prime Minister, and Mr Yanukovych’s rival for the Presidency was summoned to the Prosecutor General’s office and accusations, although no specific detail, were made by high-standing public figures.  An article on this and related subjects entitled “Crackdown” begins: “President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration is starting his anti-corruption campaign by going after a familiar foe: former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, his defeated rival in the Feb. 7 presidential election”.  http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/66676/

 

 

(Halya Coynash)

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