Clean hands

Law enforcers may not manage to investigate on time the casualties during the Euromaidan protests

Law enforcers may not manage to investigate on time the casualties during the  Euromaidan protests
Photo: Konstantin Melnitskiy

The Prosecutor General’s Office formed a special body to investigate the events during the Euromaidan and promises that it will submit the first cases to the courts by the end of this year. At the same time, the law enforcers admit that they may not meet the deadline set by the laws and investigate the killing of participants of the acts of protest. In order to speed up the process and find those guilty of killing innocent people the deputies are ready to make amendments to the legislation.

PGO cannot meet the deadline

Yesterday a general meeting of VR committees on fighting corruption and guaranteeing law enforcement activity was held. Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema, Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov and Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Valentyn Nalyvaichenko were invited to attend the meeting.

They had to report the results of the investigation into the crimes committed against participants of the Euromaidan. “Holding such a committee hearing was the initiative of non-government organizations,” people’s deputy Dmytro Andriyevskiy (Petro Poroshenko Bloc) told Capital. Despite the high ranking composition of the participants of the meeting, deputies and members of NGOs did not hear anything new. Government officials tried to justify their actions instead of reporting the results.

Yarema said that after the adoption of the new Law on the Prosecutor General’s Office in October, the Special Investigation Administration was created in the PGO. The structure which has 83 investigators and operative employees has since been strictly engaged in investigating crimes against the activists of the Euromaidan. The prosecutor general said currently the investigators are working on 12 separate cases. The prosecutors already announced their suspicion of 22 employees of the Berkut special subdivision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and another 13 cases will be investigated in the nearest days.

As a reminder, several members of Berkut were detained for the shooting of innocent protesters in Kyiv on February 18-20, including a commander of one of the companies Dmytro Sadovnyk. Later the Pechersk District Court withdrew his restraint for custody and put him under house arrest. After that Sadovnyk disappeared. Yarema said that the other two employees of Berkut are currently familiarizing themselves with the case materials. The PGO promises to transfer their cases to the court this year. However, the PGO does not rule out that it may fail to meet the deadline set by the law, which expires at the end of February, and close the investigation of the events on Euromaidan. For this reason, members of parliament are today discussing the option of making amendments to the legislation so that the prosecutors can bring the cases to the court.

The PGO denies accusations that it ignored the opening of a case against organizers of the assignment of “titushka” (hired hands) to Kyiv. As the PGO assured, in Dnipropetrovsk the prosecutor’s office already searched the office of the oblast council and declared its suspicion that the head of the council sent the “hired hands” to Kyiv. Noteworthy, the grounds for such accusations were that baseball bats with nails were found in the office. Similar suspicions were put forth to other two heads of oblast state administrations. The prosecutor’s office did not disclose their names. According to information that Capital possesses, one of them is the former head of the Cherkasy OSA Serhiy Tulub for whom an international search warrant was put out.

As it turns out, the PGO was not the only body that had to justify its actions. The response of Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, who said there are not sufficient legal grounds to fire employees of the police forces that dispersed innocent students that demonstrated in Kyiv on November 30, incited an ambiguous response.

Obstacles from the wayside

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko also believes that the legislation was one of the reasons that not a single individual complicit in the crimes of the law enforcement bodies never stood before the court. “A special operation was conducted to detain the so-called “Black Company” of Berkut soldiers. But to this day not one of them was judged for non-compliance with the legal system,” he said.

Former commander of the Euromaidan and people’s deputy (independent) Volodymyr Parasiuk agrees that many investigations are stalled mainly due to the revised Criminal Proceedings Code adopted in 2012. “However, this is one of the reasons. The second is the unwillingness to investigate,” Parasiuk told Capital.

After hearing out officials, the deputies voted in favor of convening at the next session of parliament on December 23 to discuss issues of the Euromaidan. It is planned that by that date the deputies and law enforcers will draft common proposals that will help achieve positive results. According to information of Capital, amendments to the Criminal Proceedings Code and an appeal to Interpol requesting the declaration of an international search for ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych are among the proposals. Of course, it is not know when these proposals will go to vote in the session hall.

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