Prosecutor General challenged over ongoing miscarriage of justice


Serhiy Dovhal

Serial killer Serhiy Tkach was finally convicted of a shocking number of crimes in 2005. By that time, Ukraine’s investigators and then courts had imprisoned ten people for some of these crimes.  One – Maxim Dmytrenko – was only released in March this year.

Another – Ihor Ryzhkov – was at one stage even sentenced to death. This was commuted after some charges were withdrawn, yet Ryzhkov served a ten year sentence to the last day.

Journalist and lawyer Serhiy Dovhal, who has written a lot about the case, has issued an open letter to the Prosecutor General, Victor Pshonka over the case.  It is unlikely that he will be heeded, but the grounds for outrage are certainly strong. After the very first article on the subject, the Prosecutor General’s Office contacted him and said that efforts were being taken to establish the identity of those implicated in the miscarriage of justice.

Dovhal says that he was blown over – Tkach admitted to all the crimes in 2005, yet in 2012 they’re still trying to establish why an innocent man spent 10 years inside for some of those crimes.

On 27 November he wrote to Pshonka personally, and is now making a new letter public.

He points out that in the end Ryzhkov served 10 years for 2 cases of attempted rape where the women survived and could surely indicate who was not guilty.

And yet he has had no response and has therefore written an open letter entitled „Ask me!”  He can identify those implicated.

There is no information about the subsequent investigations (or none) into the convictions of Dmytrenko and others wrongfully convicted.  While Dovhal may well be able to name specific people, the web of blame for such tragedies normally extends far, in large part because of a flawed system where statistics of “solved crimes” determine assessment, and therefore pay and promotion opportunities.  How they are “solved” has unfortunately long been of little interest. 

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