Concern over plans to introduce trial in absentia
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union has responded to media reports of plans by parliament to introduce legislative changes which would make it possible to issue court verdicts in absentia.
UHHRU points out that while such practice does exist in some European countries, the procedure needs to be accompanied by very serious guarantees against abuse by the authorities. These include the guarantee that such verdicts will receive full review after the person returns to the country.
“Furthermore, a large number of European countries do not have trial in absentia. UHRU considers that any decision to introduce such a system in Ukraine is of major impact for civil society and should only be passed after lengthy and comprehensive public and expert discuss and should not be hostage to fleeting political needs.