• Topics / The right to a fair trial
• Topics / Freedom of peaceful assembly
Tax Code Protester, Serhiy Kostakov has spent longer in custody than if convicted
The court hearing scheduled for 20 June at the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv over the case of anti-Tax Code protester Serhiy Kostakov has again been postponed, this time until 11 July. Serhiy Kostakov has already been quite nwarrantedly held on remand for almost seven months after being arrested on 1 December 2011. He is accused of having damaged a car during the peaceful protest against the Tax Code in late November 2010.
The court hearing was adjourned since the judge was still in the consulting chamber in connection with another case. The hearings have already been postponed several times because the witnesses who are employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not appear.
Last week Natalia Korolevska, National Deputy from BYUT, lodged an application with the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv to have Serhiy Kostakov released on a signed undertaking not to leave the city. The application, her second one, was this time signed by 11 National Deputies. This and other efforts, including a request to the Prosecutor General to carry out a comprehensive check of the activities of the law enforcement bodies in investigating the Kostakov case, have been fruitless.
There are a huge number of highly disturbing aspects to this case. Not only does remand in custody, especially for over 6 months, on suspicion of damaging a car seem excessive, but there are also serious doubts as to whether Kostakov was even responsible. The Investigative Journalism Bureaustates that a policeman came testimony that it was specifically Kostakov who damaged the car, yet on the video in the file material, Kostakov does not touch the car.