New Prosecution Style: Blame the Victims
One of the opposition deputies most badly injured after Party of the Regions deputies stormed through their protest barricade on 16 December has been summoned for questioning to the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office. According to the newspaper Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, National Deputy from the BYuT faction, Mykhailo Volynets has been summoned in connection with a criminal investigation initiated over “unlawful influence on the Speaker of Parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn and deputies”.
The summons states that the investigation is under Article 344 § 2 of the Criminal Code over the said unlawful influence “in order to obstruct them in carrying out their official duties, with this being by people using their official position”.
On 16 December there was a fight in the hall of the Verkhovna Rada between deputies from the Party of the Regions and the opposition BYuT faction. As a result several deputies from the opposition were hospitalized.
During the fight, one deputy from the Party of the Regions hit Mykhailo Volynets over the head with a chair.
The BYuT victims, as well as a group of deputies from Our Ukraine called on the Prosecutor General to investigate the events in the Verkhovna Rada and bring those deputies from the Party of the Regions who took part in the fight to account.
Seven deputies from the Party of the Regions have been named: Dmytro Salamatin, Petro Tsyurko, Oleksandr Peklushenko, Anatoly Horbatyuk, Vadim Stolar, Oleksandr Volkov and Oleh Tsaryov.
The Kyiv Prosecutor, after studying the material provided by Internal Affairs bodies on the events of 16 December has initiated a criminal investigation under Article 344 § 2 – interference in the activities of a public official. According to the Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legislative Back-up for Law Enforcement activities, National Deputy from BYuT, Viktor Shvets, instead of a criminal case over assault, the Prosecutor has initiated one against BYuT National Deputies for blocking the tribune.