New law affecting remand in custody


The Verkhovna Rada has passed a law making amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, in particular Article 155 on the grounds for remand in custody.

One of the amendments is that remand in custody can be applied where a person is accused of crimes which carry a sentence of five years or over. Until now this was from three years imprisonment. However remand in custody can be used in the case of people accused of crimes carrying smaller sentences where there are well-founded grounds for believing that the person could commit another crime, or does not have a permanent place of residence in Ukraine, or others.

The law takes effect from when it is published. According to the final provisions, after it comes into force, all previous rulings on remand should be reviewed in an open court hearing.

This in theory would cover many of those former members of Yulia Tymoshenko’s government presently remanded in custody, including Yury Lutsenko.  Whether it does so remains to be seen given that serious doubts have been expressed about the grounds for remanding many of these people in custody in the first place.

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