search  
print
21.02.2017 | Halya Coynash

New Laws in Ukraine Obstruct Prosecution for Crimes against Maidan Activists

Maidan Nebesna Sotnya Photo Radio Svoboda
   

On the third anniversary of the bloodiest days of Euromaidan, lawyers have warned that laws passed since Maidan are actively blocking the chances of holding those guilty of crimes against Maidan activists to answer.  Most worryingly, the law on trial in absentia, essentially tailored around former President Viktor Yanukovych could result in European Court of Human Rights judgements against Ukraine. 

It is vital that those guilty of crimes are prosecuted.  This is about justice, Euromaidan SOS activist Oleksandra Matviychuk stresses, not revenge.   “So that in future no other regime, no political forces, regardless of colour or shade, thinks to shoot peaceful protesters.”

At a press conference on the eve of the anniversary, lawyers representing the families of those killed on Maidan did have positive developments to report, including with regard to the general classification of the crimes. The gunning down of activists on February 20, 2014 is now recognized as “the carrying out of a terrorist act in order to intimidate people into ending their protests”.

Although three years have passed, it was only with the formation of the Special Investigations Department, headed by Sergiy Horbatyuk, at the end of 2014, that any real progress was made.  One of the lawyers,  Pavlo Dykan, believes that evidence is still emerging, in part because the efforts of the investigators inspire confidence.  

That Department is, however, constantly facing obstruction from within the Prosecutor General’s Office.  As reported, in October 2016, the Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko suddenly announced the reorganization of the Department, with Horbatyuk losing a considerable part of his responsibilities and staff.   All the crimes believed to have been committed by  former President Viktor Yanukovych and his associates were separated out and placed under another department.  

The lawyers are unimpressed by Lutsenko’s restructuring.  The Special Investigations  Department has been deprived of staff and other vital back-up, while there is no information about what is happening in the Yanukovych case. 

The major part of the law enforcement system is, Dykan says, either directly or covertly resisting the Maidan investigation. Dmytro Sadovnik, the Berkut commander who should be on trial now over killings on Maidan, was released from custody and promptly helped to flee to Russia by ex-Berkut officials, still working in the police force, he asserts.  There he swiftly received Russian citizenship, as have a large number of Berkut officials on the wanted list over Maidan.  Horbatyuk has noted that at least half the Berkut officers deployed against Maidan activists are still working in the police force.

One of the most disturbing reasons for the lack of prosecutions comes in laws passed since the Revolution of Dignity.  One such law, passed on February 21, 2014, prevents prosecution of “participants in the protests”.  According to lawyer Viktoria Deineka, the law effectively makes it impossible to prosecute police officers.  They simply apply to the courts for the proceedings against them to be terminated, citing that law.  Deineka believes that the law was passed specially to prevent proper investigation and subsequent investigations. 

Equally dubious are amendments to Articles 364 and 365 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code, on exceeding official duties.  According to the new version, actions only fall under these articles if there has been material damage.  Fine if you have proof of embezzlement, but what if you’re dealing with Berkut officers who beat up peaceful protesters?  A lot of criminal investigations under those articles are now being terminated, the lawyers say.  The difficulty of producing ‘material evidence’ is one reason, together with the fact that a lot of the evidence has been lost by now, and key figures are in hiding.   

Over-trumpeted ‘Yanukovych case’

Lutsenko had promised that a so-called ‘big Yanukovych case’ would be passed to the court by the end of 2016.  There is no sign of this, nor is there any likelihood of it.  Deineka warns that there cannot be one such case since there are a number of separate criminal proceedings which are at different stages.  If they are merged into one, specific timeframes for investigating the individual cases will be lost, and charges that have not been fully investigated could end up before the courts too early.  All of this could elicit accusations against Ukraine of selective justice.  Each case needs to be passed to the court when it is ready.

Law on Trial in Absentia

The Maidan lawyers are not alone in warning about the dangers of this law.  They believe that it was adopted purely to try Yanukovych, and that this could end up working against Ukraine, since the very law will be viewed as selective justice.  Sentences could end up successfully appealed at the European Court of Human Rights. 

All Ukraine’s Prosecutor Generals since Maidan have promised swift prosecutions, trials and that the culprits would answer.  Both Viktor Shokin and, now, Yury Lutsenko have been accused of obstructing the Department which really is investigating Maidan crimes. Horbatyuk has consistently warned against fixation on prosecuting Yanukovych at the expense of attainable and important prosecutions of those who carried out the crimes.  The cases the prosecutors from the department bring to the court have every chance, if not sabotaged, of resulting in prosecutions.

There is considerably less confidence about the big Yanukovych case, uniting multiple episodes ever reaching the court, but that is only the first problem. It would be a terrible betrayal to all those killed, injured or persecuted during Maidan if publicity-seeking trials were to result in cases collapsing or, worse, being condemned by the European Court of Human Rights.  

 

Recommend this post

comments

to post any message or commentary, you need to login »»

2017.03.10 | hyhMs

Nike Air Women


Boost Yeezy Sale On Line


Air Max Kopen


ugg clearance


TOMS SHOES OUTLET


Cheap Michael Kors


cheap nike air max


cheap uggs


Nike Air 90


Pandora Store


uggs for women


Air Max Pas Cher


scarpe nike


Kobe Shoes Nike


christian louboutin outlet


nike sportschuhe


zapatillas running


Hugo Boss Sale


Ray ban sale online


Descuentos Nike


nfl store


nike air


zapatilla adidas


Yeezy Men


nike air max running shoes


Scarpe Air Max


zapatillas nike baratas


toms sale


nike shoes


huarache sneakers


nike joggesko


Nike Factory Store


Adidas Originals Superstar


Air Nike


moncler outlet


Nike Air Jordan 11


pandora outlet store


Jordan Store


prada outlet


Moncler Jackets Discount Marketplace


retro jordans for cheap


air force one pas cher


Nike Shox discount Sale


Doudoune Moncler Femme Pas Cher


Ugg Pas Cher En France


günstige nike schuhe


ugg factory outlet


Jordan Shoes Air


The official UGG


adidas store


Hogan Outlet


Pandora Store


Canada Goose Outlet


billige nike sko


Ugg boots Sale


nike jordan shoes


Air Max 90


moncler jacket sale


womens nike air max


newest lebron shoes


Coach Bags On Sale


toms shoes outlet


uggs outlet


Doudoune Moncler Site Officiel


pandora beads


chaussure Nike homme


Air Max Sneakers


Yeezy Black


Nike Online Store


Adidas Originals Stan Smith


converse store


Boutique Ugg


Nike Shoes Sale Store


new jordan releases


canada goose jackets on sale


Vans Black Sneakers


Nike Air Damen


Jordan Sneakers For Sale


nike mercurial soccer cleats


Adidas Shoes Discount Marketplace


Ray Ban Sunglasses Online


religion store


Michael Kors Outlet


vans shoe store


Air Max Femme


Michael Kors


nike sneakers


canada goose jacket outlet


ugg store


Canada Goose Womens Coats


hogan scontate


Nike Air Max Cheap


Nike Air Huarache For Sale


Yeezy Boost Sale Online


new yeezy shoes


Discount Air Max


Canada Goose Outlet


Canada goose dam


nike air jordan pas cher


Ugg Outlet Online Store


official NHL jerseys


Jordan Schoenen


Moncler Sale


Timberland Outlet


reebok running shoes


nike sb stefan janoski


Nike Air Sneakers


Nike Pas Cher Femme


Adidas Superstar


Adidas Neo Discount Sale


Uggs Pas Cher Soldes


cheap uggs for women


Nike Shox Cheap


Nike Store


Ugg Pas Cher Femme


Nike Zapatos


Adidas Superstar Sale Online


pandora jewelry store


ADIDAS NMD SALE ON LINE


new pandora charms


botas de futbol


Michael Kors Handbags Discount


Air Jordan Retro Sale


goedkope nike air max


Toms Outlet Online


nike tn pas cher


Oakley Sunglasses Cheap


Boty Nike Air


Pandora Official Website


Nike Roshe Run Sale


Uggs For Cheap


Negozi Pandora


Air max levně


longchamp bags on sale


zapatos de futbol nike


coach factory outlet online


Moncler Outlet Store


Moncler Outlet Online


Doudoune Moncler Pas Cher


Ray-Ban Official Discounted Site


louboutin heels


Nike Soccer Cleats Boots


Chaussure Nike Air Max Pas Cher


fitflops sale uk


Stone Island Outlet


Soccer Boots Outlet nike


Nike Air Max Goedkoop


chaussures nike pas cher


adidas outlet


chaussure basket homme


Nike Shoes Discount Marketplace


scarpe hogan outlet


Bottes Ugg Femme Pas Cher


abercrombie and fitch store


Original Ugg Boots


Air max dam


nike schuhe günstig



hyhMs 2017.3.10

X




forgot the password

registration

X

X

send me a new password


on top