Ukrainian advocates have become the latest targets in a concentrated drive over the last three years to create a malleable and dependent judiciary. The measures being applied to remove dissident voices and intimidate others bear stark resemblance to those which have already succeeded in Belarus
Nigerian student Olaolu Femi learned to his cost about the strange ways of Ukraine’s law enforcement and justice system. His present difficulties in reinstating himself at the Luhansk University are minor in comparison, but also disturbingly catch-22 like.
After a major campaign by some human rights groups, Olaolu Femi has been released from SIZO [detention centre] with the Foundation for Regional Initiatives formally acting as guarantor. The battle is by no means over, but this is still a major achievement.
After ignoring the total lack of evidence and sentencing three young men to 14 and 15 years imprisonment over the 2010 Zaporizhya Church bomb, Judge Minasov has gone on holiday without providing a copy of the judgement
EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, and Commissioner Stefan Füle have expressed their regret over the rejection of former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko’s cassation appeal and reiterate concern over the trial which did not respect international standards
Despite no evidence aside from multiple “confessions” retracted in court and grave irregularities, two sacristans of the Svyatopokrovsk Orthodox Church in Zaporizhya, and brother of one of them, have been convicted of the 2010 bomb blast in the Church and sentenced to 15 and 14 years respectively
Olaola Femi has been held in custody since November 2011 following an incident which the prosecution is claiming was attempted murder. An attempt to murder five people with a broken bottle would already raise eyebrows, but there are many other worrying aspects to this case.
On the eve of Good Friday in most Christian Churches, Anton Kharytonov, one of the three young men accused of the 2010 bomb blast in the Svyatopokrovsk Orthodox Church in Zaporizhya called on the judge to not be like Pontius Pilateþ “I think you have long understood that we are innocent and did not commit this crime”
First Deputy Prosecutor General, Renat Kuzmin wants to criminalize “defamation”, which, unlike libel, can include true statements. At least within shooting range of Ukraine’s Criminal Code, this would silence all those unpleasant accusations of selective justice, judicial dependence etc
A criminal investigation into possible exceeding of official powers has been lodged against one of the investigators and an SBU officer. The investigator has been accused by the defence of himself making a phone call being used as evidence in this worrying case
The Head of Ukraine’s High Qualification Commission of Judges believes that where all is “regulated well in our Constitution and legislation, there’s no need to refer to ECHR judgements.” And where all that is regulated is a system of fob-offs and close cooperation between the police, the prosecutor’s office and the court?
Despite claims by the Prosecutor General’s Office that all charges have been dropped, Serhiy Vlasenko, defender of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and until last Thursday, MP, was prevented from travelling abroad on Wednesday
Defence lawyer Rostyslav Kravets writes that the Ukrainian authorities prefer to not implement European Court of Human Rights judgements, and simply pay out the money awarded by the court in compensation for their non-implementation