war crimes in Ukraine

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Family “cassette scandal” (Lviv)


Galina Tereshchuk, radio “Liberty”

Recently the Galytskiy district court of Lviv has begun to consider the case, which can be called a family “cassette scandal”. Natalya Zdorova turned to court with the claim against her former husband and his mother, who, as the ex-wife suspected, illegally wiretapped her phone talks.

There is nothing extraordinary in this story except one detail: the former mother-in-law works in the oblast USS directorate as an office-cleaner. The ex-husband brought to N. Zdorova the copy of his application about divorce and the audiocassette with the record of her phone talks. Natalya Zdorova turned to the oblast prosecutor’s office with the demand to start the criminal case after the fact of illegal wiretapping of her private phone talks. She expressed the suspicion that the mother of her husband had organized the wiretapping. The plaintiff also turned for the explanations to the oblast USS directorate and got the response that her former mother-in-law even had no service certificate of the USS.

The investigating officer of the prosecutor’s office did not establish the fact of the violation of confidentiality of phone talks of N. Zdorova. The claim was rejected because of the absence of corpus delicti. This conclusion was drawn on the basis of the explanations of the former husband and mother-in-law of Natalya.

The woman turned with the complaint to the General Prosecutor of Ukraine. She informed that the cassette really existed, but the oblast prosecutor’s office had not even listened to the record. The case was passed from Kyiv to the oblast prosecutor’s office again for the additional investigation.

Ms. Zdorova turned with the complaint to the Galytskiy district court of Lviv. At the first court sitting the representative of the prosecutor’s office told that he was sure that the USS had no connection with this story. Yet, the claimant continues to demand from the prosecutor’s office to find the persons, who wiretapped her talks. Now the court consideration is suspended and the prosecutor’s office proceeds with the investigation of this unexampled case.

However, I want to point out that, according to the Criminal Code, the violation of the confidence of correspondence, phone talks or electronic correspondence is punished with the fine from 50 to 100 minimum untaxed wages, or the reformative works for the term up to two years, or the restriction of liberty for the term up to three years. The obtaining of information is punished with the fine from 100 to 200 minimum untaxed wages, or the restriction of liberty for the term up to four years, or the incarceration for the same term.

(“Prava ludyny” (Ukrainian version), No. 22, 1-15 August 2003)

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