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Tax Code Protesters outraged over investigation irregularities

07.04.2011    source:
Those accused of damaging the granite stone during the Tax Code protest on Maidan Nezalezhnosti say they were not informed the case had been sent to court and believe the unseemly haste indicates that even the verdict has been prepared in advance


The Coalition of Participants in the Orange Revolution assert that the investigators did not inform those accused of damaging the granite stone on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] that the case had been sent to court. The Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday that the case had been passed to the court on 1 April.

The Coalition’s statement asserts that as late as 31 March investigative actions were still underway. 

As reported, on 31 March one of the accused, Serhiy Melnychenko faced pressure to sign a protocol stating that he had read the file material with the investigator Yevhen Seperovych trying to railroad him into signing the protocol without his lawyer being present.

It is claimed that when Melnychenko refused to sign the protocol and repeated his request to wait for his lawyer, and even though it was clear by then that the lawyer, Ms. Mykhailenko was already in the building, Seperovych called in two “witnesses” to sign a paper asserting that Melnychenko had refused to acquaint himself with the file material.

In commenting on the actions of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Serhiy Melnychenko himself notes that “on Friday the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mohylyov is supposed to report on his work to the Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada. Explanations will obviously be demanded from him about this case which brings shame on Ukraine”.

“The police have therefore hurried at whatever cost to rid themselves of the responsibility and hand the material to the court. Going by the speed with which it was done, you can expect that the court’s sentence was written in advance”, he added.

The Coalition of Participants in the Orange Revolution state that “the investigation into the flagrantly trumped up case regarding the “damage to the granite stone on Maidan” was carried out with infringements of all norms of the law. The actions of the Kyiv Police Department and the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office are unlawful and their conclusions clearly falsified.”

The Coalition demands that the investigator, Seperovych be immediately dismissed and face criminal charges for the deliberate falsification of the case against the leaders of the Tax Code Protest.

It also calls for the immediate dismissal of the management of the Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office and of Mohylyov, and that they are also charged with deliberate falsification of the case.

They say that if their demands are not met they reserve the right to initiate various measures, including indefinite strikes, in defence of the Constitution.

In November last year many thousands of small business owners held protests over the new Tax Code which they believed would destroy their livelihoods. These protests included a huge demonstration on Maidan Nezalezhnosti around the anniversary of the events in the same place known as the Orange Revolution. 

Some concessions were made but then the protesters’ tent camp was forcibly dismantled almost the next day.

Much more disturbing have been the prosecutions against some actual and some alleged protesters, with those alleged to have been there sometimes having had nothing to do with the erection of the tents. One person is facing criminal charges of damaging a car with the only evidence being the assertion of the car’s driver.  There have also been charges laid of creating a criminal group which during the protests allegedly caused damage to the state of more than 200 thousand UAH. (roughly 18 thousand Euro).

It is not only the accused themselves, and their lawyers, who believe the case to be trumped up and reek of political persecution.

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