Ongoing dodgy methods used to take away activists’ driving licenses
AutoMaidan car procession to the presidents residence at Mezhyhirya, Dec 29
Ukrainska Pravda has scrutinized the protocols used against AutoMaidan activists to justify stripping them of their driving licenses and points out that three reports supposedly signed by traffic inspector V. Kozak contain different signatures. These reports have then been passed to courts which have obligingly banned activists from driving for 3 or 6 months over alleged offences on Dec 29 during the AutoMaidan car rally to the president’s vast and opulent residence at Mezhyhirya.
It should be noted that the courts have not shown any great interest in questioning the cases and the measures have, from the outset, seemed aimed at deterring activists from taking part in the car processions.
Last week, for example, judge Oksana Tsarevych from the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv stripped Ukrainska Pravda journalist Oksana Kovalenko of her license even though Kovalenko’s car could not have been at the place where the alleged administrative offence took place. The ruling was passed in the absence of either Kovalenko or her lawyer who had asked for it to be deferred due to other commitments.
It is perhaps not surprising that judge Tsarevych preferred to issue the ruling without the journalist and her lawyer as it was not only the protocol that was falsified. Ukrainska Pravda cites the judge’s words which give incorrect information about Kovalenko’s account of her movements during the relevant time period. The judge also claims that Kovalenko voluntarily signed the protocol, making no comments about it. The journalist in fact gave a written explanation in which she not only denied any guilt, but also stated that the actions of the traffic police had been unlawful, together with his protocol.
Oksana Kovalenko was at Mezhyhirya on Dec 29. It is not clear whether this was as a journalist, or participant, however the “charge” was that she had failed to stop at the demand of a traffic officer with varying signatures called Kozak. Kovalenko did not drive along the road in question that day at all.
As reported, the traffic police were swiftly set upon people who took part in the Dec 29 car procession with people receiving visits from officers or being asked to come in for a chat. The claim in all cases was that drivers had failed to stop when requested. As the protocols mentioned above show, the whole exercise seems to have involved serious irregularities (see: Traffic police deployed against EuroMaidan protesters)
Kovalenko is not the only person to have been stripped of her license, and it is clear that the courts have paid no heed to the very dubious cases being put before them. Oksana Tsarevych is one of the judges from the Pechersky District Court who has already gained a certain degree of publicity over her involvement in the politically motivated trials of opposition politicians, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and ex-Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko (see: Political trials on the career trajectory