“Soon Ukraine will be denied extradition even for murder.” For which Kiev received a “red card” from Interpol
Widely announced “vendetta”, promised directly from the scene by the leaders of the Maidan for the ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, his closest associates and “accomplices”, it seems, played a cruel joke with representatives of the new government.
For five years after the regime change, they could not bring to justice any of the iconic representatives of the former elite. Interpol removed most of the “exec” from the international search, refused to even put out “blue cards”, and a whole series of “extradition epics” ended in official Kiev with frank confusion.
Because of this, almost the only achievement in the annals of the history of justice of the post-Maidan era remains the “damn dozen for Yanukovych” – the scandalous sentence to the disgraced head of state, rendered in “correspondence mode”.
The law changes that allowed this to be achieved are regarded by lawyers of the fourth head of state as carried out “for a specific person” (by the way, the initiators of the trial of Viktor Fedorovich in the top of the GPU did not hide this fact). But more importantly, what appeared on the reverse side of the medal of the “process of the century” over Yanukovych and the ongoing attempts to condemn his “minions”.
International lawyers believe that the victim of the “political movements” of the new government was a significant undermining of Ukraine’s reputation. And as a result of this, there is an ever more tangible chill in the relationship between our state and international institutions for the maintenance of law and order.
What it threatens and how it already affects in practice, why official Kiev is completely refused to look for / extradite iconic defendants in criminal cases, and with what tricks the authorities want to continue the course of punishing representatives of the “Yanukovich regime”, Strana found out.
Give out every third
In order to understand the essence of the problem, which Russian law enforcement authorities faced in full growth in their unsuccessful attempts to bring former VIPs to responsibility (and now not only them), one should refer to the statistical data.
They say: every year, Ukrainian law enforcement authorities send one and a half hundred appeals to foreign states with requests to extradite suspects / accused of committing criminal offenses on the territory of our country. According to the statistics base of the GPU, 2/3 of these instructions are carried out. The extradition itself, at best, ends only every third case.
At least, such arithmetic can be derived by combining the reports of the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The office of Pavel Petrenko calculated – for the five-year period after the Maidan, 252 requests of the Ukrainian courts for the extradition of suspects to Ukraine passed through the department’s document flow. The result of which was the extradition of 76 people.
The subordinates of Yury Lutsenko have more optimistic “reports from the fields.” The GPU operates on data that from 2014 to 2018 250 people were handed over to the Ukrainian authorities.
Paradoxically, especially considering the foreign policy situation, most of them were issued to official Kiev by Russia. This trend was confirmed by the Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Enin. According to him, over the past four years, the “northern neighbor” has transferred over 90 offenders to Ukraine.
These are individuals who are brought under articles for violent crimes – murder, abduction, robbery, as well as in cases involving fraud, drugs and rape. But none of the representatives of the era of Yanukovych, and generally iconic characters, are not among them.
Crooked mirror extradition
Veterans of the prosecutor’s office and lawyers state a drop in efficiency in extradition matters. And this is connected with the arrival on the crest of the revolutionary events of 2013-2014 of new teams of managers in the competent departments.
“Before the events of Maidan, the extradition procedure in Ukraine worked like a clock. The extradition / non-issuance rates were remarkable, they were very serious about the“ red card ”from Kiev all over the world,” recalls the former deputy head of the Main Directorate for International Legal Cooperation of the GPU, Oleg Podgainy .
He says that since 2007, the core department of the Prosecutor General’s Office (where then, among others, the future deputy head of the GPU, Vitaly Kasko) worked, laid the foundation for the effectiveness of work on international direction and cooperation with Interpol. Which, largely by inertia and with a number of rough edges, in general, continued to operate almost flawlessly until 2014.
“Most of the“ shoals ”we managed to reduce to zero, for all this time there were isolated cases of refusals to extradite suspects at our requests (unless Russia did not extradite, they conferred citizenship on them). For violent crimes I don’t even remember some vivid resonance , on the so-called “political” cases – the Czech Republic refused to give out (ex-Minister of Economy Bogdan – Note. Ed.) Danilishin, and Italy (at that time, the ex-governor of the Kharkiv region, and today the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen – Note. Ed.) Avakova, “- says Podgainy” Country. ”
During the five-year period after the events of Maidan, the reverse trend manifested itself in full growth. Today, iconic “returnees” to Ukraine who are prosecuted can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Of those stories that are widely heard are the voluntary extradition from Panama of the ex-head of the State Agency for Investment Promotion, Vladislav Kaskiv, the Russian issuance of Nikolai Makarenko, the former head of the traffic police of Kiev, and the Swiss directors of the board of directors of the Mriya agricultural holding Nikolai Guty. Tellingly, no one of these cases in Ukraine has been convicted until now.
A much more “representative” list of those who were refused to be given out to domestic authorities in recent years. He is headed by a disgraced ex-president Viktor Yanukovych, whose extradition was refused at least six times in the Russian Federation.
But problems arose not only with the “Moscow direction”, if we talk about iconic personalities. So, Spain refused to give out to Ukraine former Finance Minister Yury Kolobov, Germany — banker Boris Timonkin, Italy — ex-People’s Deputy Igor Markov, and Great Britain — the former general director of Ukrspetseksport, Sergei Bondarchuk. Up to the present, bureaucratic inclinations continue with attempts to secure the extradition from the Spaniards of People’s Deputy Alexander Onishchenko and the former head of the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine Viktor Tat’kov – from Austria.
Incidents with extradition of VIPs are just the tip of the iceberg of disturbing trends. The wrong side of the process allows you to fix another part. This is a general withdrawal of criminal cases from the international search for defendants and Interpol’s refusal to put red cards on them. On the website of the ministry to date there are four dozen suspects who are wanted by request from Ukraine for subsequent issuance. But there are no names known for political parties.
Although as early as August 2014, President Poroshenko declared: the base of the International Criminal Police Organization consists of 27 former Ukrainian top officials. On this list were the fleeting head of state Viktor Yanukovich and his eldest son Alexander, former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, former head of the presidential administration Andrei Klyuev, former ministers Edward Stavitsky, Raisa Bogatyryova, Sergey Arbuzov, Yury Kolobov and Alexander Klimenko, disgraced businessmen and deputies – Sergey Kurchenko, Sergey Klyuev, Yury Ivanyushchenko.
By the spring of 2015, the “red cards” remained with respect to only a dozen disgraced VIPs. Currently Interpol is not looking for any of them. Why did this happen?
What was the value of “red cards”
The lawyers interviewed by the author of these lines say: Two events of the sample of 2014 became the turning points.
“Firstly, the time bomb was planted since the introduction of European sanctions against the representatives of the previous government,” said Deputy Minister of Justice in 2007–2011, head of the Bar association “Bogatyr and partners” Vladimir Bogatyr. “Then the facts of forgery and fraud were revealed their appointment, as well as the obvious political expediency of the decisions. ”
Citing a number of later court decisions in the EU, he states: sanctions against Yanukovych and Co. were imposed on the basis of not legal evidence, but on the basis of a subjective decision of domestic officials and law enforcement officers who were “whipped” by Europeans. The ensuing announcement in the international search for these tops was essentially political persecution.
Alexey Kalinnikov, the senior partner of the Mogilnitsky and Partners law firm, also draws attention to this detail. In parallel, the lawyer makes it clear that, following international sanctions against former top officials, there were attempts to redraw domestic legislation. The main goal of which was the desire to “at least a scarecrow, even a carcass”, but to condemn the representatives of the former government. Kalinnikov explains how international procedures were involved in this and why Interpol’s “red cards” were so important at that time.
“In October 2014, amendments were made to the Criminal Procedure Code concerning absenteeism in absentia. One of the conditions for the implementation of such a procedure was the presence of a person involved in the bases of the international search. And since our legislation does not answer the question of what is meant by this concept, it turned out that the equal sign between the concepts of “international search” and “Interpol search,” the lawyer told Strany.
Thus, a whole wad of criminal cases against representatives of the previous government began to be prepared for the basis of absentee conviction.
The alarm bell sounded not only for them. It turned out that immediately after the legislative pirouette, pressed through the parliament with the introduction of a “zaochka”, lawyers began to record an avalanche-like increase in the number of requests sent through Interpol. But not only in relation to the celestials who fled the country, but a number of businessmen and officials.
An indirect confirmation of this is a surge in the initiation of criminal cases under “economic” articles, which in the end did not lead to any result. What makes lawyers think about whether the information was not entered into the ERDR by law enforcement officers in order to “cut down the money” or “divide” the merchants?
“All international activities, starting with the arrival of representatives of Maidan to the Prosecutor General’s Office, were essentially lumpen-directed slogans:“ Take everything away and divide. ”The propaganda about“ separatists-terrorists ”was hooked up to this, and with the help of this Jesuitism they got a“ ruff ”. with each new Prosecutor General, the corruption component only increased, with the current head – the peak point, it was never worse yet, “- characterizes the results of the work of the international direction of the Prosecutor General’s Office in recent years, Bogatyr.
As proof, he cites two examples of extradition epics related to Ukrainian citizens. Which are believed to have finally undermined the confidence of European law enforcement officers on the part of the Europeans.
The first is the case of businessman Vasily K., who was charged with fraud in the amount of $ 12 million. In 2015, the man was extradited to Ukraine from Switzerland, and placed in custody.
“Although his extradition was insistently sought by the GPU, in the two months that he spent in the Kyiv SIZO, they didn’t take a single investigative action with him. The only one who visited him was the representative of the Swiss embassy. Then he was released and … forgot to extend the preventive measure. The man quietly went to Cyprus, where they again sent an extradition request. This is a form of nonsense, ”says Bogatyr.
Another case study is connected with the former deputy head of the internal policy department of the Dnipropetrovsk city council, Stanislav Paley. An official in his homeland was charged with dispersing “euromaidanovtsy” in the Dnieper.
“He has been under extradition arrest in Cyprus for more than two years, he was put on Interpol’s wanted list. But when the GPU was asked for evidence confirming the suspicions, Ukraine was told that they could not provide them, and the court’s decision on arrest in the Dnieper was canceled” says lawyer Bogatyr.
Changing the tactics of prosecutors and the PACE resolution
How much these precedents influenced the degree of perception of the position of the Ukrainian side by European law enforcement officers is a debatable question.
Statistics show the following: since 2015, the tendency to exclude almost all significant figures from the times of Yanukovich’s presidency from the Interpol search system has begun. First – on the so-called “Affairs of the Maidan.” Refusals on the majority occurred in connection with the recognition of the relevant criminal cases of prosecution for political reasons.
The Prosecutor General’s Office cites another reason for removing Yanukovych and Co. from Interpol’s search. In particular, the head of the Department of Special Investigations of the GPU, Sergey Gorbatyuk, connects this with the imperfection of the Ukrainian legislation regarding the selection of a preventive measure against suspects.
The point is that, according to Interpol rules, a person who the court decided to take into custody may be declared internationally wanted as a preventive measure. And if the court allowed only to detain a person, to decide whether to take him into custody, Interpol cannot search for him. Such decisions were made in respect of virtually all VIPs for whom the authorities were preparing a procedure of in absentia conviction. The courts, on the other hand, refused to make decisions on detention without participation in the sessions of the suspect.
Other circumstances indicate that in the GPU represent the situation in a favorable light to her. Indeed, after Interpol began to cancel the “red cards”, the Ukrainian side tried to push for at least “blue” ones. They involve the collection of information about the person, his location in the interests of criminal proceedings. But this topic “did not take off.”
Lawyer Bogatyr explains why this happened: “In one of the interviews, Gorbatyuk directly indicated that he would manipulate the Blue Card in order to locate the suspects, since he was aware of the political motive in the cases investigated by his Department. We immediately informed the commission to monitor the files and Interpol secretariat on such an initiative of Sergey Viktorovich “.
Whatever it was, but by the beginning of 2017 the mechanism of a general declaration on the international wanted list of Ukrainian fugitives had finally sunk into oblivion. According to one version, this was facilitated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. It adopted a resolution entitled “Abuses in using the Interpol system: the need for greater legal guarantees”.
“In recent years, some Interpol member states have abused the system of red cards to achieve their own political goals and to suppress freedom of speech or to persecute members of political opposition outside the country,” the text of the document says.
And although the specific names of the powers were not named in the official communiqué, lawyers make it clear that it was a “bell” for Ukraine in its attempts to “drive” objectionable ex-officials and businessmen with the help of Europeans.
“The file commission stated that the greatest number of unmotivated requests came from Ukraine and Russia, where criminal cases have obvious elements of political persecution, or even worse, are the purpose of selecting a business. We have prepared a report on this matter. It was translated and is used today as evidence of systemic corruption and mass speculation in the Ukrainian law enforcement system, “- says Vladimir Bogatyr. His legal team will continue to inform the file control commission and the Interpol secretariat about violations of Ukrainian law enforcement officers.
“Zaochka” under the new rules
However, by the time of the devastating PACE resolution, the topic of mass issuing of “red cards” for requests from Ukraine was no longer relevant. The Prosecutor General’s Office, in its attempts to seek a correspondence conviction for top officials who left Ukraine after Maidan, “insured” the parliament.
In the spring of 2016, in a package of documents that claimed people’s deputies in order to open the way for the chair of the head of the GPU to a person without legal education (in fact, Yury Lutsenko), they voted a number of additional short stories.
“Made changes to the Transitional Provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which expanded the list of grounds for applying the procedure of absenteeism in absentia. The need to apply to Interpol disappeared, the fact of finding a person outside Ukraine or in a temporarily occupied territory was recognized as a sufficient reason to involve a person by a special procedure,” explains Alexey Kalinnikov .
This norm acted right up to the beginning of the work of the State Bureau of Investigation, and from November 2018 it lost its force. The authorities intend to fill in the gap in the legislation and find new grounds for administering justice in relation to their opponents through special procedures by adopting draft law No.9353.
The document was registered last fall by the people’s deputy from BPP Sergey Alekseev. On February 6, he was approved by the parliamentary committee on legislative support for law enforcement. But in the attorney community was greeted with hostility.
Here is how his lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk describes these “regular democratic changes in the Criminal Procedure Code to judge Viktor Yanukovich”: “Given that Interpol refuses to announce the Client to the international search because of the political motives of its persecution, deputies are invited to:
remove the presence of Interpol’s face search from the Code of Criminal Procedure as a basis for the commencement of a correspondence procedure;
the grounds for the “zaochka” to make the investigator’s resolution on the search (of which the person is not notified and which is not appealed against);
to prohibit the court to refuse the prosecutor at the beginning of the absentee procedure. ”
Beats the alarm, analyzing the legislative initiative of the people’s deputy Alekseeva and another lawyer, Inna Rafalskaya. “Now the search will be announced through the” as I want “resolution and in zaochku. The young do not remember, and those who are older have already seen enough of these” wanted “, quietly living at home and do not know anything about this wanted,” wrote a lawyer to Facebook.
At the briefing, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has already announced that innovations in the CPC are being prepared, first of all, to send the next criminal case against Yanukovych to the court.
In addition, in a similar way, prosecutors intend to spend “several thousand terrorist suspects, such as Igor Strelkov, Igor Bezler, terrorists in uniform of the Russian armed forces, Russian politicians and citizens of Ukraine who are hiding from justice in the temporarily occupied territories.”
Lawyers, in turn, indicate: the bill number 9353 directly violates human rights, announcing the filing of complaints if it is applied in practice at the ECHR. And they believe that these and other “know-how”, implemented in practice by the Ukrainian authorities in the past, will definitively undermine the already not very plausible image of the state in the international arena.
“Only the speeches of Lutsenko, where he calls people criminals before the verdict and promises that they will be in prison – more than enough lawyers to justify violations of their right to defense and law enforcement activists,” explains the consequences of former prosecutor Oleg Podgainy. In my opinion, I completely killed the trust of foreign partners in the national law enforcement and judicial systems, and continues to behave oddly with its public television “executions” (although he has enough assistants). he said that in such a case it would end up with the fact that soon Ukraine would be denied extradition for ordinary domestic murder. ”
Information taken from: https://strana.ua/articles/analysis/187465-vydachi-net-pochemu-provalilas-ekstraditsija-janukovicha-i-ljudej-iz-okruzhenija.html