“Prava Ludiny” (human rights) monthly bulletin, 2002, #05
Election as a source of profit. A search to find nothing. The appeal on the burglary in the office of the Lugansk voters committee. Correspondence with the USS. On the election of 31 March. Freedom of expression
„Juridical clinics“ for legal training of students A new report of „Freedom House“: the situation with the freedom of speech in Ukraine deteriorated Freedom of movement
On discrimination in Ukraine Women’s rights
The court met the demands of left-wing parties. Press release of the attorney firm „Ageev, Berezhnoy and partners“. Advocates of Boris Feldman handed an appeal Case of Boris Feldman and the bank „Slavianskiy“. Again about advocate Salovs case Lviv prosecutors office and the USS recompensed the moral damage. NGO activities
Victory in the European Court. Point of view
The number of capital sentences doubled.
Election as a source of profit.
Rubezhnoye is a small industrial town with the population about 70 thousand people. The town was created around the chemical plant „BARVNIK“ and developed owing to it. Now the plant nearly does not work (except several specially invested workshops) and, in fact, went bankrupt. So, the level of unemployment in Rubezhnoye is very high, and there are many high-qualified engineers, who agree to work for getting tiny salaries. That is why there appeared more than enough people willing to become members of election commissions.
The lists of voters included people, some of whom had died five or even 10 years ago. At the seminar for heads and secretaries of district election commissions hold in the town executive commission, Mr. Nazarenko, then a member of the political party „Trudova Ukraina“ and the secretary of the town council, insisted that there was no need to check the lists of voters“. A secretary of an election station was surprised: „What are these lists? Who compiled them? They are brim-full of people, who died long ago!“ Mr. Nazarenko interrupted the fighter for truth and made him silent. As he explained later, the election in Rubezhnoye is a local affair, so nothing may be said about it in presence of the administration of the regional election commission from Severodonetsk. The result was expected: up to 10% of „dead voters“ were later stroke off the lists at district stations. For example, at station No. 57-112 from the 2100 voters contained in the list about 200 were excluded because they had died, many others – because they moved to Russia and other places.
Now let us return to the wages of the members of the district election stations. The wages had to be formed from the fee for the work (20 UAH) and the bonus. The fee was paid by half, since 10 UAH were collected for feeding on the election day, but the bonus was not paid at all almost everywhere.
Before the election the heads of the district election commissions got the norms for paying bonuses – 480 UAH per a commission. After the election the heads of the district election commissions got in regional commission No. 112 the money and corresponding documents. Half an hour later they returned the signed documents. The administration of the regional commission was surprised, but they explained that they managed to pay the money in 30 minutes (the distance between Rubezhnoye and Severodonetsk is about 15 kilometers). The results of this affair were the following.
L. Serdeshna, the head of district commission No. 57-112, gave 15 UAH each only to those members, who knew about the bonus, and 15 UAH to the secretary. The fact that she gave 5.65 UAH less to the members and 0.65 UAH less to the secretary she motivated so: „If I did not visit the regional commission each day, you would get nothing“.
The head of district commission No. 71-112 avoided the members of his commission; those, who found him, got 10 UAH each, others got nothing. The motivation was that a flag disappeared from the election station.
The head of district commission No. 74-112 got the money earlier than his colleagues (on 14 April 2002) and for almost two weeks hide in Severodonetsk being registered in Rubezhnoye. On 26 April a member of the election commission, whose brother was an advocate, gathered other members of the commission and promised to initiate criminal investigation. Then the head appeared and paid 14 UAH to each (less than he had to). The shortage was explained by his transport expenses during the election.
The head of district commission No. 73-112 did not pay the money to one commission member, since she „was not included in the list for the bonus“. Yet, when this member refused to participate in the repeated election hold after a court decision, she was immediately included into this list.
The head of district commission No. 56-112 paid the members 3 UAH each and told that „according to law, he must not pay more“.
And the head of the district commission situated in school No. 7 in Rubezhnoye, as far as we know, paid no money at all.
But these are not all affairs. Some candidates to the town council handed claims and the court ruled to conduct the repeated election at district election stations Nos. 56, 73 and 74. The members of these commissions were promised to be paid for this as early as on 13 April, but they got nothing up to now. The accountant of the town executive committee informed: „The first sitting of the town council is organized for appointments and handing certificates. And only the second sitting may approve the budget for paying the repeated election“. Yes, they may approve, and if not?
It must be added that the town council officials made the administration of district commissions Nos. 73-112 and 74-112 to alter (to fake?) the paying documents from 24 to 17 work hours, thus changing the promised fees per commission member to 13 UAH. The head of commission No. 56-112 refused to fake the documents. Thus, everyone demonstrated ones own legal illiteracy.
Most of the commissions members say, that they might forget this tricks of the authorities long ago, because the power and state more than once cheated them for larger sums. Yet, now the recalculation of subsidies for living accommodation is held, which takes into account the money obtained (to be more exact, partly obtained or not obtained at all) for the work during election. Thus, the members of the election commissions will have to pay from their own pockets for the swindles of the officials.
Those, who worked in the election commissions at this election will never agree to do it for another time in contrast to those, who cheated them.
A search to find nothing.
„PL“ commentary:In our opinion, there we have the illegal meddling of the USS into the activities of a public organization. It is difficult to understand, which namely duties of the USS listed in Article 24 of the Law on the USS mentioned by S. Grachev, the head of the town directorate, caused such extraordinary actions.
The response of the USS and the burglary in the voters committee office clashed in time for some reason. In the appeal of the committee published above these facts are directly linked together. Almost all the NGO activists, who commented this accident, believe that the burglary was inspired by the USS. As one can see, the investigation is conducted very slowly. So, in our opinion, the USS officers must do their best to find the criminals and thus take away the suspicions from their agency.
The appeal on the burglary in the office of the Lugansk voters committee.
The members of the committee do not deny the possibility of the political motives of this crime. This version is confirmed by the fact that the mentioned newspaper and Internet-gantry published recently the information about the violations during the election in the oblast. Besides, after the election the administration of the committee turned to the Severodonetsk USS directorate with the request concerning interrogating the observers by the USS officers. The USS directorate answered that the mentioned actions of the law-enforcers did not contradict the operating laws. The texts of the request and the response were published on the gantry „Political Ukraine“ on 24 May.
The voters committee assesses the burglary of their office and other cases of pressure and violence directed on the committee activists as political persecutions connected with the committee activities during the last election.
The voters committee appeals to the law-enforcing organs with the request to pay the special attention for investigating these crimes and to do their best to make such situations impossible in the future.
Correspondence with the USS.
To head of the Severodonetsk USS directorate of the Lugansk oblast
S. A. Grachev
On 3-4 April 2002 your officers E. V. Pogorelov and V. Yu. Polstianoy took the written testimony from several people, who, being the correspondents of the voters committee newspaper „Tochka zoru“, were the observers on the election on 31 March 2002. The questions asked by the officers concerned the campaign of mobilizing volunteers hold by the Lugansk oblast voters committee, training the volunteers and recompensing transport and food expenses.
These actions exceed the USS authorities stipulated by Article 24 of the Ukrainian Law „On the security service of Ukraine“ and contradict to part 2 Article 8 and Article 25 of the Ukrainian Law „On citizens unions“.
According to part 4 Article 5 of the Law „On the security service of Ukraine“, I ask to give me the written explanations concerning the illegal meddling of the USS into the statute activities of the Lugansk oblast branch of the voters committee of Ukraine.
Head of the Lugansk oblast branch of the voters committee of Ukraine
No. 36/1056 of 24 May 2002
To head of the Lugansk oblast branch of the voters committee of Ukraine
O. O. Svetikov
Answering your request No. 52 of 21 May 2002 about the allegedly illegal meddling of the USS officers into the activities of the Lugansk oblast branch of the voters committee of Ukraine I am explaining: according to Article 8 item 1 of the Ukrainian Law „On the ODA“ the USS organs have the right to question peoplein their agreementand to use their free-will help. The students of the technical school (where the election station was situated. – Translators note) were questioned in concordance with Article 24 of the Law „On the security service of Ukraine“. At the same time no questions were asked concerning any interests of your organization. You can learn this from the questioned students.
Head of the USS directorate
P. S. The students of the technical school, who were the observers at the election, were summoned to the deputy principals office and had to write the explanations in his presence.
On the election of 31 March.
Nikolay Kozyrev, Lugansk, the head of the administration of the public committee of human rights protection
Even the preliminary analysis of the numerous violations of voters rights confirmed by documents allows to draw the conclusion:the violations had the massive character.This conclusion is diligently avoided by the authorities, who refer to „single drawbacks“ in the work of separate district commissions.
The pre-election campaign was conducted with one dominating political force („For United Ukraine“). It concerns the campaign in mass media, organizing meetings with voters and mobilizing various resources, both finances and personnel.
The awareness of voters was totally manipulated using various technologies. In the Lugansk oblast the most frequent were, along with the usual „information wars“, the so-called „social contracts“ with the candidates of the bloc „For United Ukraine“, with which contracts some voters came to the election stations to fulfill their „duties“ (information from the Novopskovskiy district).
The chaos was planned and organized at election stations. This is not an overstatement, since it might be observed everywhere, both in towns and in villages. In Lugansk the chaos began 15 minutes before opening the election stations: the heads of the stations got the phone orders not to start the election, but to arrive at the regional station. There they were explained that they had to cross out of the election lists the name of A. Yagoferov, a candidate for the Lugansk mayors post, and the name of V. Kolomoytsev-Rybalko, a candidate to the Supreme Rada of Ukraine. It should be noted that A. Yagoferov drew away his candidature on the previous day at 7 p.m., when all election commissions were still working, and V. Kolomoytsevs candidature was canceled at 0:30 a.m. on31 March2002. As a result, all the stations were paralyzed for 2-3 hours. Some of them were not opened until the members of the commissions crossed out the indicated names from all the bulletins, some commissions hurriedly and nervously did that during the voting. At some stations they had no special stamps for this and the candidates were crossed out by hand. Moreover, at some stations there were bulletins, from which these candidates were not removed at all. All this time the voters waited at the door, the stations were overcrowded, and many of the voters did not want to stand in the line and went home. This situation lasted during the whole day, so at 20:00 the question was raised about continuing the voting, and at some stations it was done so. One may suggest that the main goal of this disorganizing the election was to hinder the work of observers and to create the favorable conditions for illegal actions of members of the commissions and special „saboteurs“, about what many acts were compiled.
The election stations were not equipped for voting, there were not enough polling-booths (the voters filed in the bulletins outside the booths) and polling-boxes, and there was no efficient phone communication. For example, at election station No. 4/108 (in the downtown of Lugansk!) there were only three boots and one box. In many cases the rooms were small and inconvenient for the work.
The election in penitentiaries became the apotheosis of cynical lawlessness and violating the rights of voters completely dependent of the officials. For instance, in preliminary prison No. 17 (Lugansk, region No. 105) and in four reforming colonies (about 6000 people) situated in Krasny Luch and Perevalsk, all 100% of prisoners gave their votes to the heads of the penitentiaries, who stood for the bloc „For United Ukraine“. The independent observers, including the observers from the Council of Europe, were not admitted to these election stations.
Meetings with voters in labor collectives were practically prohibited to all candidates, except those from „For United Ukraine“. So, even ex-Prime-Minister V. Yushchenko was not allowed (in spite of the preliminary agreement) to meet with voters.
of district election commissions. Under pressure of the administration (especially in villages) the undesired members, who were against faking the election results, were excluded from the commissions under the pretext of some insignificant violations (for example non-appearance at some conference). Most often this happened with the members of Yulia Timoshenkos bloc and the Socialist Party of Ukraine. The decision about excluding the members were taken without any official sessions (information from the Novopskovskiy, Kremenskoy and Stanichno-Luganskiy districts).
refusal to register candidates disagreeable with the power and able to be rivals to the „needed“ candidates. For this the authorities used false data. For example, the Shirokovskaya territorial commission of the Stanichno-Luganskiy district refused to register V. Titarenko as a candidate for the post of the head of the village council. V. Titarenko, being a member of the party „Batkivshchina“, got this refusal because of her double party membership. Later it became known that her membership in the party „Zhinki za maybutne“ („Women for the future“) was falsified, when the lists of this party were fabricated before the election without the knowledge of the members. Yet, the court, to which Ms. Titarenko turned, did not investigate this case.
the already registered candidates were „liquidated“ with the assistance of tax inspection and courts. Presumption of guilt was applied grounded on various information about allegedly „false“ data given by candidates. For instance, in the case of A. Danilov, a candidate to the post of Lugansk mayor, the court thoughtfully „investigated“ if the candidate might fly by airplanes with the incomes declared by him.
The information given by tax inspection about the allegedly concealed incomes was also very effective. A. Danilov was accused of concealing the sum equal to 3500 UAH; really, he had to obtain this money, but he did not, so he handed the corresponding documents confirming this. Danilov also presented the Instruction of the Ministry of Finances reading that not received sums must not be included to income statement. The court did not take into account these arguments having great importance for the case and ruled to cancel the registration of A. Danilov (thus misusing its power, since this is a prerogative of territorial election commissions). And, which is essential, this court decision was also illegal because it exceeded the boundaries of the constitutional limitation of election rights. The matter is that, according to the constitutional guarantees envisaged by Articles 64, 70 and 141 of the Ukrainian Constitution, the inauthenticity of information, e.g. about incomes, may not be considered as a ground for restricting the right to be elected (Article 22 of the Constitution). Besides, in a number of cases the courts used, to be on the safe side, the norm of Article 243-5 of the Civil-Procedural Code, according to which the court decision „may not be appealed“, and which in this part contradicts to Articles 6, 8, 19, 22, 55 and 64 of the Constitution.
Nevertheless, such deliberately illegal decisions during the election were not infrequent – it was a peculiar quasi-juridical repressive technology applied by the power for endorsing the unfair political competition.
It should be stressed that the repressive mechanism of „purges“ was used against the heads of village councils in the most cynical and insolent way. More probably, it may be explained by the fact that the significance of such posts has increased greatly after the agrarian reform.
At all election stations, where the laws were abused, militiamen were on duty. What for?
The right to elect and to be elected was abused everywhere and in mass:
the equality of the opportunities to agitate and organize the election campaign for different candidates was not provided: the opposition political forces and individual candidates were discriminated and underwent the political extermination;
the freedom of choice was not guaranteed. Under the conditions of absence of the fair political competition the free will and critical political thinking of voters were restricted and oppressed through the biased propaganda distributed by the mass media dependent of the power and using the „social contracts“ having the pseudo-juridical form; these contacts imposed on voters the duty to vote only for some concrete candidates. In the Lugansk oblast the bloc „For United Ukraine“ issued more than 700,000 such contracts;
the voters were bribed by the authorities with some charity acts. For example, V. Tikhonov, the head of the oblast council, three days before the election opened the computer classes in the village schools in Prostornoe and Kuriakovka of the Belokurakinskiy district and donated to the Kuriakovka village council a school bus. Naturally, on 31 March 82% of voters of this district elected Tikhonov as a deputy of the oblast council.
the secrecy of voting was violated at election stations: much evidence exists that, since the stations were overcrowded, the poling-booths were used simultaneously by several people, and some voters even did not enter the booths.
tax inspection and courts were used as the tools of „political surgery“.
So,it may be concludedthat the above-described technologies (having obvious features of organized crime) used during the election campaign-2002 are the external display of the deep-laid processes having place in the Ukrainian society.
31 March was a logical result of the past decade of unsuccessful Ukrainian reforms that did not manage to create the open and free industrial economy, which is now burdened with the corporative interests of parasite clans and the bureaucratism of the new nomenclature.
Now the new epoch begins, and this new epoch has already showed itself during the last election campaign:
In the economic aspect – by the desperate efforts of the figures influencing the main financial flows to use various political institutions for legalizing the illegal capital, which, according to the official information sources, controls the half of the country economy.
In the political aspect – by shaping the political regime as a clan-bureaucratic absolutism supporting the system parasitizing on the export of capital and extreme exploiting.
In the sociological aspect – by social crystallization and structuring the „lobbying groups“, on the one hand, and of the opposition groups, on the other hand. The election process and results clearly demonstrated the split of the society by the criterion „rich (power) – poor (not-power)“. Here one may see the source of future social conflicts.
In the social-psychology aspect – by the increase of the mass „psychological traumatism“ as a result of developing the role of the mass media as a tool for manipulating semantic and rhetoric thus distorting the social space. The main goal of manipulating the consciousness of voters is to mask the system of exploitation and the criminal nature of accumulating wealth in the society, where even a hard-working miner is a beggar.
In the philosophical aspect – by the growth of the distance between common citizens and the state, between the society and power, between labor and capital. The traditional values are squeezed out from the political sphere and from the entire public life for the sake of somebodys personal interests. The freedom and democracy became the first victim. Thus, the political and economic development of the country is more and more loosing its humanistic element.
As it is known, all the signs of the „death“ of socialism were concealed carefully, even in the better times of this political system, by the thorough systematic misinformation. Having the planned prices it was impossible to evaluate the size of the state capital and, as a result, to take the right strategic decisions and to create the efficient economy.
The system of power and capital functioning shaped during the last decade, that is the system, which is now fully promoted by the political bloc „For United Ukraine“, suffers of the same disease. Misinformation became the only condition of the existence of the present power and its material base – shadow economy.
I will risk to assume that the first seeds of death of this „new epoch“ were sown into the polling-boxes on 31 March.
In our opinion the seeds of death were sown long ago and they have already sprouted: the election was, in fact, lost by the power.
Yet, there is nobody, who could use this situation. In spite of all manipulations, the election clearly demonstrated that the people do not permit to fool themselves, that they do not admit the existing system of social relations and want changes.
Freedom of expression
„Juridical clinics“ for legal training of students
From the viewpoint of the legal regulation of the activities of „Juridical clinic“, it would be interesting to consider the experience of the Russian Federation. In spite of the fact that Russia also has no normative legal acts stipulating the activities of „Juridical clinic“, owing to the orders of the Ministry of education of the Russian Federation, in particular, order No. 433 „On legal consultations („legal clinics“) for population on the base of the high schools preparing lawyers“ of 5 October 1999, the creation of „Juridical clinics“ is organizationally endorsed. The orders of the Ministry solved three main problems of the existence of „Juridical clinics“:
The concept was introduced of „Juridical clinic“ as a structural unit of higher schools preparing lawyers;
The procedure of the legalization of „Juridical clinics“ was stipulated, and the system of coordinating their activities was created;
Methodical and scientific support of „Juridical clinics“ by such state agencies, as the Center of educational legislation of the Ministry of education, were legally provided.
Along with the absence of legal acts on creating and developing „Juridical clinics“, there exist many internal problems concerning the implementation of this program. For example, according to the recent data, more than ten operating juridical clinics work at law higher schools. These clinics to some extent use the classical methods of the clinical education. However, the term „clinical education“ is not understood by many participants of this project. In some cases the participants are not explained the theoretical basis of juridical clinics. For example, goals and tasks of the program are not distinctly defined; the fundamentals of organizing the clinic as a unit of higher law school is not explained; the mechanisms of interrelations between the clinic and the school are not considered. The students-consultants are taught the practical skills in rendering legal aid to population, and the persons, who fulfill the administrative functions are taught nothing at all. Neglecting the theoretical base of the program or the weak control over the training on the side of school administration leads to the transformation of a juridical clinic into other structure. Instead of the clinic a public juridical consultation appears – an autonomous organization, whose personnel begins to pay most attention to the interests of this organization. Such degeneration may be also realized consciously, that is the personnel knows about the essence of juridical clinics, but purposely wants to create their own self-governed organization, in which the program of the clinical education will be only a curtain covering the ambitions of the administration. Thus, having some surface attributes of a juridical clinic (rendering legal aid to population, typical record keeping, etc.), the new structure lacks two main elements: the practical experience accumulated in the clinic is not considered and analyzed in the educational process of law schools and, as a result, the juridical clinic as a part of school curricula actually stops to exist. Certainly, the new organization may be viable, since the circle of rights widens, opportunity for attracting new partners and sponsors appears and new directions of the activities are created. However, the link with the educational process is lost. The relations between the clinic and the school begin to be based on the parity principle, which, naturally, is not liked by the school administration. All this makes the school stop to support the clinic both materially and with staff. The final result of such transformation is, seemingly, the appearance of a youth human rights protecting public organization having the status of a juridical person, or something like this. Theoretically, the creation of a youth public organization is a positive phenomenon, but the process of such creation through the degeneration of a juridical clinic is far from ideal, since it implies some opposition to the school. In our opinion, the measures to prevent such processes are the following:
to define the status of „Juridical clinic“ legislatively;
to regard „Juridical clinics“ as structural units of law higher schools and faculties, thus participating in the educational process;
to provide the clinics with the teachers able to deliver the idea of „Juridical clinics“ to the students;
to include the work of students in „Juridical clinics“ to the curricula of educating professional lawyers;
to permit to reckon the work of the students-consultants as juridical practices.
P. S.The similar juridical clinic successfully works since 1999 at the juridical faculty of the East-Ukrainian national university (Lugansk). This clinic is endorsed by the Lugansk public organization „Lawyers club“ of students and post-graduates of the faculty.
Manager, coordinator and three consultants (students of the last years) work in the clinic. The clients are received two hours a day twice a week.
„Lawyers club“ in cooperation with the juridical faculty published the book „A methodical manual for organizing juridical clinics“ (Методические указания по организации „Юридической клиники“/ Сост. Проф. Л.И. Лазор, В.В. Гнилорыбов, Д.В. Шлыков. – Луганск: Изд-во ВНУ, 2000.- 36 с.).
More detailed information, as well as the educational and methodical materials concerning the creation of juridical clinics one may obtain in „Lawyers club“ by the address: 1-a Vatutiva, 1-a, Lugansk, 91034, Ukraine (the juridical faculty of the East-Ukrainian national university); tel.: (0642) 46-11-01, 46-65-64; e-mail: [email protected]
A new report of „Freedom House“: the situation with the freedom of speech in Ukraine deteriorated
The number of „free“ countries have increased (40%), the proportion of the countries, where the freedom of the press is completely absent, makes 33%, and 50 countries are related to the category „partly free“. Ukraine and Russia belong to the latter group.
Karin Deutch Karlekar, one of the authors of the publication, in her interview to the radio „Liberty“ summed up the position of Ukraine: „Ukraine occupies more or less middle place among the East European countries and the post-Soviet countries, so it was included to the group with partly free press. The situation with the freedom of the press in Ukraine is better than in Belarus, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Yet, it is noteworthy“, she added, „that this situation in Ukraine is much worse than, for example, in Czechia, Slovakia and even former Yugoslavia. This means that Ukraine is on the same level as last year, or maybe even lower, since the situation in other East European countries is improving“.
According to Ms. Karlekar, the situation in Russia is similar: both Russia and Ukraine took the 60th place, and from the 61st place the group of the „un-free“ countries begins, that is the countries where is no freedom of speech.
During the last year in Ukraine the acts of violence against journalists took place, for which the offenders were brought to responsibility very rarely. The murder of famous journalist Georgiy Gongadze is not unclosed until now, murders of other journalists are also investigated extremely slowly. The authorities frequently abuse the constitutional guarantees of the freedom of speech and the press, militia often carries out the searches of the journalists, who write about the corruption among state officials. The pressure on the mass media is also realized through tax agencies, the documents reads.
Ms. Karlekar considers that the only noticeable positive change in the sphere of the freedom of the press in Ukraine is the adoption of the new Criminal Code, according to which the libel may not be regarded as a crime.
UP, 23 April 2002
Freedom of movement
On discrimination in Ukraine
Citizens are discriminated in the sphere of medical aid: the chances to get the adequate medical aid, both free or for money, are very different for, for example, a Kyivan dweller and a villager, as well as for a rich and poor Kyivan dweller. The same can be said also about the access to education, culture, etc.
The intolerance to other religions and opinions in the politics and everyday life are especially noticeable, since the power frequently encourage it by own passivity or even open provocation. All this must not be neglected (referring to „political struggle“ or „inheritance of the past“), because sometimes the intolerance is based on the long-lasting interethnic or inter-confessional conflicts. These conflicts may become more acute, if the situation in the country destabilized: seeking an answer to the question „Who is the guilty?“ always was very popular in our country.
During my short-term political activities the opponents in power actively implanted the xenophobia to the disloyal candidates. The anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish spirits were stirred up. Although, to be fair, the anti-Semitism was used by almost all sides of the election campaign. The situation with me was merely curious: at the same time and in the opinion of the same people I was a „half-moskal“ (moskalis a scornful name for Russians used by Ukrainians. – Translators note), a „Jewish mason“ and a „spy of the „greens“ working off the American money“, who „washes dirty linen in public“.
Thus, the discrimination in the form of the aggressive intolerance to any different viewpoint is not only endorsed in our half-civilized society, but sometimes is cautiously roused.
The court met the demands of left-wing parties.
Press release of the attorney firm „Ageev, Berezhnoy and partners“.
In their complaint the advocates asked the court to acknowledge as illegal the actions of Nikolay Azarov, the head of the State tax administration of Ukraine, and the actions of the tax administration as such, on behalf of which N. Azarov acted. The matter is that Mr. Azarov distributed the information, which was later made public by mass media, that „the talk between President Kuchma and Nikolay Azarov concerning the bank „Slavyanskiy“, which was allegedly recorded on the tapes presented by Nikolay Melnichenko, was faked by the order of Boris Feldman, the former vice-president of the bank“. This information was given by N. Azarov on 16 May 2002 at the press conference in the State tax administration and published by several Ukrainian mass media. The statements that B. Feldman is somewhat connected with this montage are false and damage dignity and business reputation of Boris Feldman. The advocates hope to interrogate Nikolay Melnichenko, Nikolay Azarov and Leonid Kuchma during the investigation and to conduct expertise of the corresponding fragments of the records promulgated by Melnichenko. The advocates want to solve the questions whether these audio records are authentic and whether they were fabricated „by the order of Boris Feldman“. In the opinion of the advocates, this trial will be of great public importance, since for the first time the Ukrainian court will have an opportunity to analyze the authenticity of Melnichenkos records and get his evidence.
Besides, as Ukrainian mass media reported about the press conference, N. Azarov, being a state official, asserted that B. Feldman was involved in „criminal activities“, thus abusing Feldmans rights and benefit of the doubt principle. Evidently, speaking about the decision of the Artemovsk town court on B. Feldmans case, Azarov did not take into consideration that this decision had not become operable, that the trial would be held in the appeal court, and that Boris Feldman might not be regarded as guilty by state officials. The mentioned statements by N. Azarov may be assessed as an attempt to influence the appeal court.
The advocates ask the court to make Nikolay Azarov and the State tax administration to refute officially the information about the „criminal activities“ of Boris Feldman and about his connection to faking N. Melnichenkos audio records.
The full text of the complaint is placed on the site of the attorney firm „Ageev, Berezhnoy and partners“ — http://ageyev.org/cases/feldman/azarov/claim17.05.02.htm
Advocates of Boris Feldman handed an appeal
On the session of the Artemovsk court Feldman was acknowledged guilty in two episodes of the criminal case: in misappropriation of 7.4 million UAH and in dodging taxes on the sum of more than 1 million UAH.
The criminal case against the administration of the bank „Slavianskiy“ (7 persons) was started by the investigation department of state tax militia in January 2000. They were blamed for especially serious theft of property on the total sum of 11 million UAH, misuse of power that led to the material damage equal to 335 million UAH, dodging taxes on the sum more than 5 million UAH and forgery.
Case of Boris Feldman and the bank „Slavianskiy“.
The authorities did not care to give the trial over B. Feldman even the semblance of legal correctness.
After the court robbed Boris Feldman and his advocate of the opportunity to take part in the debates, judges of the Artemovsk court of Lugansk committed another offense against justice: they ruled to deprive Feldman of his last plea and to move him off the courtroom.
At the court session on 17 April 2002 Feldman tried to continue his last plea. We stress that Feldman did not brake order during the trial, he spoke calmly and touched only upon the questions directly connected with the case. On that day Feldman told what position he occupied in the bank, explained some aspects of the bank activities and commented from this viewpoint the information stated in the accusation act.
Unexpectedly presiding judge Stanislav Lubianoy announced that the judges would retire to the conference room to decide if Feldman may be permitted to continue his speech.
After returning from the conference room judge Lubianoy declared the decision. The decision read: „In his last plea the defendant began to expound the arguments and reasons, which he had already stated being interrogated as an accused, to pronounce political declarations, to insist upon the political, ordered character of the case, to express negative opinions about the investigating officers, experts and other persons involved in the investigation, to threaten the prosecutors officers participating in the case, to quote some excerpts from textbooks on criminal law“. (It should be noted that Feldman did not threaten the prosecutors officers, but tried to explain them that, supporting the accusation possessing no corpus delicti, they violated law, and proposed them to refuse from the accusation, since it was obviously groundless).
The decision ruled by the court was astonishing: „to deprive Feldman of the last plea and to move him off the courtroom“.
After this judge Lubianoy declared that the bench would leave to take the verdict.
Thus, probably, the verdict will be announced in the absence of Boris Feldman. It seems that the judges have not enough courage to read the verdict in his presence.
Not long before Boris Feldman, having finished the analysis of the first episode of the accusation, where he indisputably demonstrated the absence of the event of crime, addressed prosecutor Sergey Burdeyny: „You demand to condemn me to nine years with confiscating the property? And can you look in my eyes?“ The eye-witnesses saw how S. Burdeyny, the head of a department of the General prosecutors office and a senior law counselor, bowed his head low. He really did not dare to look in Feldmans face. It is difficult to imagine a greater disgrace for a state prosecutor.
The court ruling about depriving an accused of his last plea is unprecedented in all the history of the Ukrainian justice. The operating criminal-procedural laws directly point out that a court has no right to limit the time of the last plea, and that an accused may be moved off the courtroom only if he brakes order during the trial.
The position of B. Feldmans advocates is that, having ruled such a decision, the judges committed crimes against justice, namely the crimes envisaged by Article 365 (misuse of power and service authorities), Article 374 (abusing the right for defense) and Article 375 (ruling a deliberately illegal decision) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The court announced the break until Friday, 19 April, 3 p.m.
To sum up, the judges made a great number of various violations: passing the case to the trial, which territorially has no right to consider the case; depriving advocate of their right to hand petitions and complaints; prohibition to the advocates to communicate with Feldman in court building; refusal of the judges to consider the challenges; illegal threats concerning the advocates; drawing the advocates to the disciplinary responsibility initiated by judge Lubianoy; starting debates before finishing the court investigation; denying Feldman and his advocates the right to speak during the debates, and so on. Certainly, after all this, the verdict was predictable.
It is difficult to say, why the authorities needed this process, why they did not announce the verdict at once, like in Stalins time? To create the illusion of justice? Yet, it is obvious that there was not even such an illusion. Why the ruling about prohibiting the last plea began with the words: „The last plea of a defendant is his unalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by court“? Why the judges needed to draw attention to the fact that they robbed the accused of his unalienable right? To stress the cynicism, with which they ignored the Constitution? How may judges publicly mock the Constitution and justice in such an insolent way?
Is it possible that the erroneous opinion about their own impunity is so deeply implanted in the judges brains? But nothing shall be unpunished and forgotten.
In what follows we publish the complete text of the ruling pronounced by judge Lubianoy (transcription from the audio record of the trial).
17 April 2002, Lugansk
The Artemovsk court of Lugansk consisting of judges Lubianoy, Kosminin and Storozhuk, secretary Beliakova, prosecutors Burdeyny and others, advocates Ageev and others, considered in the town of Lugansk the case of Feldman and Zaslavskiy, and ruled:
The last plea of a defendant is his unalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by court.
At the same time the contents of the last plea, as well as the time given for it may not be limited. An accused has the right to mention any arguments and reasons defending him. Yet, if the accused uses his last plea for the purposes incompatible with the tasks of justice, the presiding judge has the right to stop him and to warn about the consequences of such behavior. If the defendant does not react properly, the court may rule to deprive the accused of the last plea and to move him off the courtroom according to Article 272 part 1 of the Criminal-Procedural Code of Ukraine (CPC).
Feldman was given the right to declare his last plea, which right he used from 11 to 17 April 2002.
In his last plea the defendant began to expound the arguments and reasons, which he had already stated being interrogated as an accused, to pronounce political declarations, to insist upon the political, ordered character of the case, to express negative opinions about the investigating officers, experts and other persons involved in the investigation, to threaten the prosecutors officers participating in the case, to quote some excerpts from textbooks on criminal and civil law.
The analysis of the speech of the accused Feldman from 11 to 17 April 2002 in the courtroom testifies on the brutal misuse of his right for last plea, on distorting the very essence of last plea, on using the plea for compromising the principles and tasks of justice.
Being more than once warned about his duty to follow the procedure of the court session, in particular twice, on 11 and 15 April, about the possibility of using against him part 1 Article 272 of the CPC, Feldman drew no conclusions and continued to violate the procedure of declaring the last plea.
Basing on the stated above and on Articles 272 part 1 and 273, the court
r u l e d:
to deprive Feldman of the last plea and to move him off the courtroom
Again about advocate Salovs case
The accusations against Salov were not canceled.
We want to remind our readers the situation. On the eve of the presidential election of 31 October 1999 Salov found an issue of the newspaper „Golos Ukrainy“ in his mailbox. The newspaper informed that President Leonid Kuchma had died. The newspaper was faked, and Salov was not related to its fabrication. Salov showed the newspaper to several his acquaintances and was arrested. Advocate Salov was accused of violating Article 127 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine „Preventing the election right“. In July 2000 Salov was condemned for this „crime“ to five years of incarceration with the postponement of the verdict for two years; before this he stayed in the preliminary prison.
On 15 June 2001 the Voroshilovski district court of Donetsk satisfied the claim of advocate Salov against the city prosecutors office and city militia „for humiliation and torture during the investigation“. The plaintiff asserts that he was kept in the Donetsk preliminary prison in the only cell without bunches, and he had to sleep on the bare floor. After Salov spent several months in the preliminary prison, his health deteriorated. The demanded compensation sum equaled 500 thousand UAH. The court ruled to satisfy the plaintiffs demands partly and to extract from the city prosecutors office and the city militia directorate 1.5 thousand UAH as the compensation for the moral damage inflicted to Sergey Salov.
The Donetsk prosecutors office protested against the decision of the Voroshilovski court to the appeal court. The latter confirmed the decision in favor of Salov, but the prosecutors office handed the cassation against this decision too. Now, at last, the Supreme Court put an end to this long-drawn case.
On 23 May the Court Chamber of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in charge of civil cases considered the cassation of the Donetsk oblast prosecutors office against the decision of the Voroshilovski district court of Donetsk and the ruling of the judicial chamber of the appeal court of the Donetsk oblast, which regarded the actions of the city prosecutors office connected with the detainment, arrest and holding in custody of advocate Sergey Salov as illegal.
The Court Chamber of the Supreme Court acknowledged the fact of violating Salovs constitutional rights and inflicting him the moral damage equal to 3000 UAH, which must be recompensed by the state. The decision is final and may not be appealed.
Lviv prosecutors office and the USS recompensed the moral damage.
The court ruled to collect from the oblast USS 50 thousand UAH to each of the parents and from the oblast prosecutors office – 15 thousand UAH to each.
After the court session N. Karpacheva told to journalists that she is satisfied by the court decision. „At the same time“, she said, „I have no feeling of victory, although the desired decision was taken“. According to her words, for the first time in Ukraine the claim was handed not against concrete law-enforcers, but against the system as a whole.
The Ukrainian ombudsperson handed the claim against the prosecutors office and USS on 4 February 2001. In her claim Nina Karpacheva asked to recompense to the Mozols the moral damage caused by the loss of their bread-winner in 1996.
On 27 March 1996 Yuri Mozol was detained because of the suspicion in several murders committed in the Lviv oblast. He was kept in the preliminary prison of the Lviv oblast USS, where he died of torture after three days. A week later the law-enforcers detained serial murderer Anatoliy Onoprienko.
Victory in the European Court.
According to the decision of the European Court, the government of the Russian Federation must pay to the Chernobyl catastrophe liquidator the recompensing sum equal to three thousand Euro. The decision is motivated with violating A. Burdovs rights (the right for fair court and the right for property). The Court reckons that Articles 6 and 1 of the first Protocol to the European Covenant of human rights and basic freedoms were abused.
In October 1986, six months after the Chernobyl catastrophe, Anatoliy Burdov, then a serviceman of the Soviet Army, was directed to liquidate the consequences of the catastrophe at the Chernobyl atomic station. During three months he underwent the enormous dozes of radiation, after which his health seriously deteriorated. In 1991 a court ruled to recompense Burdov the damage inflicted to his health and assigned him the monthly pension. However, Burdov got all this only ten years later.
This was the first verdict of the European Court on human rights concerning Russia. All in all, more than three thousand complaints against the actions of the Russian state agencies are now stored in the Strasbourg court.
8 May 2002
Point of view
The number of capital sentences doubled.
Only in China last year 2468 people were executed in the framework of the national program of fighting crime.
At the same time, the report reads, the most disturbing fact is that the capital sentence is used more and more frequently for punishing crimes not connected with violence, such, for example, as homosexuality in the Saudi Arabia, transporting narcotic drugs in South-East Africa, adultery in Nigeria and Sudan, corruption in China.