Court finally listens over death of remand prisoner
Volodymyr Kutsenko, a KHPG lawyer, has finally succeeded in getting a criminal case initiated over the death of a remand prisoner. The man died in 2010 in the Kherson SIZO of double bacterial bronchial pneumonia. He had been arrested on suspicion of selling drugs and despite being addicted himself and HIV positive, his substitution maintenance therapy was stopped.
Volodymyr Kutsenko tried for a very long time to get a crime investigation initiated over the failure to treat the man which had resulted in his death. Both district and regional prosecutor’s offices persistently refused.
The first instance court and court of appeal rejected complaints against these refusals to initiate criminal cases.
He continued, and at cassation level, his determination was rewarded. On 24 January 2013 the High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases allowed his cassation appeal.
What is particularly cheering is the fact that the Court examined the actual circumstances of the case, considering what kind of medical care the person had required; whether he had needed to be hospitalized in a specialized clinic; whether the assistance of a general nature had been adequate; the actual cause of death; and whether his death had been avoidable.