Constitutional Court judgement could destroy case against Kuchma


The Constitutional Court has issued a judgement which effectively eliminates the Melnychenko tapes as evidence in any attempt to prosecute former President Kuchma over the killing of journalist Georgy Gongadze.

The Court was responding to a request from the Security Service to interpret Article 82.3 of the Constitution (“An accusation shall not be based on illegally obtained evidence as well as on assumptions”).

The Constitutional Court decided that this should be understood as meaning that an accusation of having committed a crime cannot be based on factual data obtained as the result of investigative operation activity of a person with such authority without adherence to constitutional norms or with infringement of the rules of procedure established by law.

An accusation is also impossible if the facts were received by carrying out activities to gather or record them using means envisaged by the law on investigative operations by a person not authorized to carry out such activities.

The CCU judgement is final, mandatory and not subject to appeal.

Earlier, the lawyer representing former Presidential guard, Mykola Melnychenko commented on the SBU submission as follows: “It took place just when the criminal investigation against former President Kuchma was coming to an end, and Mr Melnychenko’s tapes (illicitly taken of conversations between Kuchma and others – translator) were accepted as evidence in the given case). 

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