war crimes in Ukraine

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Case of Lukyanenko is a disgrace for Ukraine!

Oleksiy Svetikov, Severodonetsk
Krasny Luch mayor S. Lukyanenko is persecuted for non-existing crimes.

Everything has happened as we predicted in August of the past year: the economic court of the Lugansk oblast acknowledged as invalid the decision of the Antratsit tax inspection concerning the payment of income tax by the enterprise «Progress».

After the check of account documents the court established that the enterprise had paid all taxes correctly. Seemingly, this is a usual economic case, but it convincingly proves that not only the concept of presumption of innocence does not exist in Ukraine, but even the concept of simple innocence. And each of us can become guilty without any guilt, if would pester the power too much.

Sergiy Lukyanenko, a successful businessman and local Maecenas, was elected to the post of Krasny Luch mayor in 2002. He knew well, where money was «stored» in the town, and was going to use some part of the shadow money for the good of territorial community, in particular, the money that was circulating in the sphere of trading with coal cinder and scrap metal. There he got across somebody’s serious property interests. The further events evidence that he affected the interests of the persons, which were very influential in the region.

The reaction was flash-like: three attempts, supported by Oleksandr Efremov, the head of the oblast state administration, to dismiss Lukyanenko from his post for allegedly corruption activities were made during 2002. Yet, these attempts were unsuccessful because of the absence of corpus delicti in mayor’s activities, although local law-enforcers do their best to find the proofs. Then the case of «Progress» appeared.

Sergiy Lukyanenko had headed this enterprise before he became the mayor. After the election he left the «Progress» and took no interest in the affairs of the enterprise. The tax inspection conducted the check and «disclosed» the violation in the form of non-payment of income tax for the sum of 800 thousand hryvnas. The decision was taken about the collection of this sum, which decision has been recently cancelled by the economic court.

The enterprise appealed against the decision of the tax inspection to the Lugansk economic court. Yet, the further events developed not according to laws, but according to cynical neglect to elementary legal principles. Naturally, the non-payment of taxes, invented by the tax inspection, concerned the time, when «Progress» had been managed by S. Lukyanenko. The criminal case was quickly started against the town mayor.

It is comprehensible for everyone, even for a person, whose knowledge about laws is poor, that there were no grounds for institution of the criminal case, since the decision of the tax inspection would become invalid after the accusation of Lukyanenko. At first it should be established whether the law was violated at all, and then the law-enforcers should look for the guilty.

The Lugansk economic court refused to consider the complaint of «Progress» (of its own free will or after somebody’s prompt) until the court of general jurisdiction would pronounce its verdict to Sergiy Lukyanenko. In what follows you will understand that this decision was not a mere juridical mistake.

The enterprise «Progress» appealed against the decision of the Lugansk economic court, and the Donetsk appeal economic court cancelled this decision: it resolved that the Lugansk court had to consider the complaint. Yet, nothing of the sort happened. The cassation complaint against the appeal resolution was urgently handed. This cassation was, in its turn, rejected by the Supreme economic court, and I do not think that anybody in the Lugansk oblast had doubts as to such outcome. Somebody wanted to gain time in order to remove Lukyanenko from mayor’s post at any price. And that happened. In very cruel, inhumane way.

After the accusation of non-existent crimes the town court of Antratsit issued the resolution about taking the mayor into custody. For several months he stayed behind the bars. When Lukyanenko had heart attack in the prison, the advocates managed to help him to get medical aid. Yet, in the hospital he was handcuffed to the bed as an especially dangerous criminal.

Finally, the «puppeteers» achieved their goal: a session of the town council dismissed Sergiy Lukyanenko from the post of town mayor because of his absence on the workplace. Now they had the opportunity to play in lawfulness and to acknowledge that the violations, for which the man had been thrown into prison, did not exist at all. Maybe, Lukyanenko will even get the compensation of the not-obtained salary at the expense of the state (that is at the expense of tax payers, but not the guilty). The Lugansk law-haters will do that with pleasure. However, the criminal case, instituted on the unknown grounds, is not closed until now.

It is obvious that the reputation of Ukraine, the state that allegedly wants to be law-abiding, suffered from this brutal story. As to the common inhabitants of the oblast, nobody can reckon himself safe, when the power, tax inspection, prosecutors and courts act in such way.

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