October 28, the human rights activists, lawyers of Euromaidan activists and the aggrieved activists themselves have held a rally near the premises of the Presidential Administration, requiring to cancel the order of the Prosecutor General No.79 of October 24, 2016. The human rights activists claim that a series of shortcomings in the document may help perpetrators to easily avoid responsibility.
According to Head of the Center for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviychuk, the idea to combine a huge number of proceedings in one case of Yanukovych sounds very nice, but it is worth remembering that different proceedings have different terms of investigation.
"The terms of investigation in a series of proceedings already expire, while other cases have just begun to be dealt with. Uniting into one lump means it should be submitted to court in three or four months, regardless of the fact whether the evidence is collected or not. I want to remind that the court is the competitive process. The cases with improper evidence may fall apart in court, because former high-ranking officials stole so much they can afford the best lawyers," the Human Rights Information Centre correspondent quoted Oleksandra Matviychuk as saying.
The human rights activist points out that the order of Yuri Lutsenko to remove part of the cases from the joint center for investigation into crimes committed during the Euromaidan protests destroys logic.
"I remember how Euromaidan SOS volunteers were providing round-the-clock legal assistance to the victims. For us, it was obvious then that it was a systematic, organized, planned attack, and, accordingly, that it must be investigated in a systematic, organized and planned way... The investigation is investigating the facts of the events, which took place during the entire period of the protests, is reproducing these events and building a chain from masterminds to perpetrators. If we cease to act based on this logic and focus on officials, who already fled the country, it means that we skip the middle link of perpetrators," Matviychuk explained, adding that such perpetrators are removed from the spotlight because they have already been incorporated into the current system of authorities.
The human rights activist believes that the criterion of speed of the investigation is achieved not by statements or appointment of a deadline.
"This criterion is achieved by increase in the number of investigators, rather than decrease as proposed by the order, by absence of interference with the investigation process, and by involvement of international experts into the process of investigation, which does not happen," she added.
Lawyer of the families of the killed Euromaidan activists Vitaly Tytych calls absurd the idea of combining proceedings into the case of Yanukovych. He strongly criticizes the system of conviction in absentia in Ukraine and points out that the law on conviction in absentia violates the basic principles of the Constitution of Ukraine and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
"It is obvious that the application of this procedure will result in cancelling these decisions by the ECHR and non-recognition of these decisions by any other competent authorities or any jurisdiction in the world. We can deliver any number of these judgments based on such a procedure, but they are useless," Vitaly Tytych said and called for passing a high-quality law.
"We ask the President to initiate amendments to the legislation to bring the mechanism of conviction in absentia in accordance with international standards and the real possibilities of the investigation," added Viktoria Deyneka, the lawyer of the families of the killed Euromaidan activists.
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