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Selective Non-Enforcement: Criminal Case against Vlasenko


Serhiy Vlasenko may again be facing criminal charges, with the impetus supposedly having come from his former wife, Natalya Okunska. She has posted on her facebook page a copy of a ruling from the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv according to which the former opposition MP, controversially stripped of his mandate earlier this year could face up to three years imprisonment or a hefty fine for non-enforcement of a court order. She asserts that the issue is one of payment of child maintenance, although there were different reports of the substance of the criminal cases against Vlasenko back in February. 

In early March the High Administrative Court in Kyiv, under Presiding Judge Mykhailo Zaitsev, allowed the application from Parliamentary Speaker Rybak to have Vlasenko’s mandate revoked.  The court stated that the ruling was final and not subject to appeal.

It thus found that Vlasenko, while an MP had engaged in advocate activities. 

The court ignored objections that Rybak’s application was based on an alleged meeting of the Regulations Committee on 27 February which the opposition say did not take place.

It also ignored the confirmation from the Prosecutor’s Office that Serhiy Vlasenko had appeared in the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko as her defender, not her defence lawyer.  Under the old Criminal Procedure Code the role of defender could be taken by any adult, including relatives.  It does not entail remuneration.

After strong statements of concern from the EU and other western countries after Vlasenko was stripped of his mandate, purportedly over his failure to

There were strong statements of concern from top EU representatives and other Western countries.

The day before the court stripped Vlasenko of his mandate, the Prosecutor General’s Office informed that the criminal proceedings brought in connection with Okunska’s complaint that Vlasenko had failed to comply with a court ruling had been terminated for want of elements of a crime

It is precisely this criminal case which has now been reactivated. 

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