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How can Ukraine Protect its Citizens Sentenced in Russia


Artem Orel, Attorney at Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm Source: UNIAN

Nadezhda Savchenko’s criminal case, sentence in which was pronounced on March 22, bears a notable political connotation. Statements about political motivations of judges made by Nadezhda’s defense lawyers are fairly justified. In particular, this is testified by repeated violation by the judges of such main principles of criminal court proceedings as legal order, adversary nature of the judicial process, impartiality etc. With no reasonable basis the court failed to sustain petitions of the defense directed at full and comprehensive investigation, in particular, petition of the defense on performance of expert examinations which had a crucial influence onto establishment of objective truth in the case …

Political connotation of the criminal process stipulates, above all, for political method of settlement of this problem. Steps undertaken in political sphere have been undertaken on a regular basis but have not yet achieved their goal.

At the same time, concurrently with the search of political solution Ukraine must also apply legal methods protecting the interests of the mentioned accused person, as well as interests of other persons accused of crimes in the cases containing any politically-motivated components.

It needs to be remembered that during annexation of Crimea and war in Donbass many Ukrainian citizens were detained in the territory of the Russian Federation, among them, Oleg Sentsov, Aleksandr Kolchenko, Aleksey Cherniy, Yuriy Yatsenko, Bogdan Krichevskiy, Ahtem Chigoyz, Nikolay Karpiuk, Staniskav Klykh, Sergey Litvinov, Valentin Vygovskiy, Yuriy Soloshenko and many others. It is evident that legal defense of these persons is not comprehensively and effectively organized: the volume of information about the cases of the mentioned persons is by far smaller that the volume of information provided in Savchenko’s case only. Ukrainian society has not even been informed what actions were undertaken, are being or will be performed for protection of interests of these persons.

By the way, the people’s deputies of Ukraine, Nadezhda Savchenko and Ivan Krulko, sent deputies’ enquiries relating to the measures undertaken by Ukraine on legal protection of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in the territory of the Russian Federation. Unfortunately, until now, the deputies have received no detailed response to their enquiries.

This is why there is an important issue appears: how our state protects Ukrainian citizens in such situations. It is also important to know if our state institutions are obliged to secure such legal protection in accordance with the effective legislation, how and on what principles such protection must be carried out, how such protection must be funded, and what role human rights organization play in the process of achievement of the desired result. Unfortunately, Ukraine has not a single act of legislation guaranteeing official legal protection to Ukrainian citizens at the state official level.

So, it may be worthwhile for the society, public organizations, volunteers and other people not indifferent to the current situation to establish a fund with allocation of monetary resources to engage the best attorneys in cases of such category. As a matter of fact good quality legal protection is able to make wonders even in politically infected cases. And the “fourth estate” – journalists – must cover problems of such kind to the widest extent possible.


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