• Topics / The right to a fair trial
• Topics / Freedom of peaceful assembly
Another Tax Code Protester kept behind bars
According to the Press Service of the Our Ukraine party, the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv has rejected an application by National Deputy Andriy Parubiy to stand as guarantor of Serhiy Kostakov, one of the protesters against the Tax Code.
Mr Kostakov’s lawyers also lodged an application to have their client released from custody since his parents are pensioners and need special care, while his underage daughter needs her father’s care.
The report states that “despite the arguments, the court rejected both applications and left unchanged its ruling to hold Kostakov in custody”.
Parubiy is reported as saying in response that the member of the Tax Code protest remains in custody because “the Ukrainian courts are governed not by the law but by the political situation”.
“The judicial system in Ukraine is under total control from the offices of those in power. Persecution of the members of the Tax Code protest can only be called political repression and a method for intimidating the public”, he added.
As reported here earlier, Serhiy Kostakov has been held in custody in the Lukyanivsk SIZO No. 13 since 1 December 2010. He is accused under Article 296 of hooliganism. It is claimed that on 22 November he damaged a car driving along a street which the protesters had blocked. The bizarre thing is not even the fact that Kostakov is charged with single-handedly causing the damage. The main unique feature is the lack of any proof aside from the assertion of the car’s driver. The latter did not initially recognize Kostakov among over 200 people, but only “recalled” (or more likely invented this at the instigation of the investigator) a week later.
The point is that the witness-driver according to the angle at which the car was placed, could not have seen Kostakov.