war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Court issues arrest warrant for Mykola Melnychenko

Mykola Melnychenko became well-known because of the tapes he made while guard to President Leonid Kuchma, including conversations about journalist Georgy Gongadze shortly before his death by MIA officers

The Prosecutor General’s Office has confirmed that the Shevchenkivsky District Court in Kyiv has issued an arrest warrant for former Presidential Guard, Mykola Melnychenko, supposedly in connection with his not cooperating with the investigators.

The Prosecutor General’s Office spokesperson said that the court ruling states that if he is detained, Mr Melnychenko should within 48 hours be brought to court for a detention order to be chosen as restraint measure.

The spokesperson said that the court order had been obtained because Melnychenko is on the international wanted list , is avoiding the criminal investigation and obstructing the establishing of truth in the case (these are terms from the article in the Criminal Code about restraint measures – translator).

The spokesperson stated also that since the revoking on 23 June by the Pechersky District Court  of the 2005 ruling terminating the criminal investigation against him, this ruling had been upheld by the Kyiv Court of Appeal, the case had been sent to the SBU [Security Service] and the investigation renewed. On 23 September Melnychenko was placed on the wanted list, on 14 October – the international list.

The spokesperson said that Melnychenko had twice tried to cross the border and had signed the relevant protocols, with him receiving a copy each time, i.e. he knew that he was banned from leaving the country.

No attempts have been made to detain or in any way impede former President Kuchma, despite the criminal investigation initiated against him over the murder in 2000 of Georgy Gongadze.

Since that time there has been endless intrigue and scandal, with the tapes Melnychenko took illicitly of conversations being crucial.

As reported, , the Constitutional Court recently issued a judgement which effectively eliminates the Melnychenko tapes as evidence in any attempt to prosecute former President Kuchma over the killing of journalist Georgy Gongadze.

The Court was responding to a request from the Security Service to interpret Article 82.3 of the Constitution (“An accusation shall not be based on illegally obtained evidence as well as on assumptions”).

The Constitutional Court decided that this should be understood as meaning that an accusation of having committed a crime cannot be based on factual data obtained as the result of investigative operation activity of a person with such authority without adherence to constitutional norms or with infringement of the rules of procedure established by law.

An accusation is also impossible if the facts were received by carrying out activities to gather or record them using means envisaged by the law on investigative operations by a person not authorized to carry out such activities.

The CCU judgement is final, mandatory and not subject to appeal.

Earlier, the lawyer representing former Presidential guard, Mykola Melnychenko commented on the SBU submission as follows: “It took place just when the criminal investigation against former President Kuchma was coming to an end, and Mr Melnychenko’s tapes (illicitly taken of conversations between Kuchma and others – translator) were accepted as evidence in the given case).

New information from UNIAN   Photo from Dzerkalo Tyzhnya

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