Monitoring of the case of Igor Pavlovich Kachur (hearing on 07.09.20)
On July 9, 2020, a hearing was held in the Pechersky District Court of the city of Kiev in the case of Igor Kachur, a deputy of the Talalaevsky District Council of the Chernigovsky Region of the 7th convocation, who is accused of committing a criminal offense under Part 4 of Article 190 (fraud committed in especially large size), part 2 of article 364-1 (abuse of power), part 1 of article 209 (legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Due to quarantine restrictions, the observer of the International Society for Human Rights was not allowed directly into the courtroom, but the lawyer of the accused, Vitaly Gribovod, provided the ISHR with all the materials of the hearing, including the audio recording.
At this hearing, a petition for the application of a measure of restraint in the form of house arrest was considered.
In his petition, prosecutor Berezhnik substantiated the need to apply this measure of restraint with the risks provided for in paras. 1 and 4 of Article 177 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, namely:
- ensuring that the suspect performs the procedural duties assigned to him;
- prevention of illegal influence on witnesses, another suspect, in the same criminal case;
- prevention of attempts to hide from the bodies of preliminary investigation and the court.
The European Court of Human Rights in such cases shall designate that the arrest or detention of a person is lawful if it is carried out in order to bring the person before the competent law enforcement agency on reasonable suspicion of committing an offense, or where there is reason to believe that it is necessary to prevent him from committing an offense or to prevent him from fleeing after having done so.
The ECtHR also recalls that in accordance with para. 3 of Article 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the existence of reasonable suspicion cannot be a justification for pre-trial detention and must be supported by additional grounds (“Stvrteski v. Slovakia”).
According to the lawyer, the accusation is based on unfounded suspicions, so he asks the court to decide on the refusal to apply the measure of restraint, referring also to the state of health of his client and his need for treatment. The accused upheld the lawyer’s motion.
It should be noted that the ECtHR pays special attention to the presence or absence of relevant and sufficient grounds for imprisoning a suspect, both in the form of preliminary detention and house arrest (“Korban v. Ukraine”; “Navalny v. Russia”).
Justifications that, in accordance with the case law of the ECtHR, are considered “appropriate” and “sufficient” arguments (other than reasonable suspicion) include: the risk of escaping from the investigation, the risk of putting pressure on witnesses or falsification of evidence, the risk of collusion, the risk of re-committing a crime, the risk of disrupting public order, and the need to protect the detainee (“Buzadzhi v. Republic of Moldova”). These risks must be properly justified, and the authorities’ justification for this cannot be abstract, general, or stereotyped (“Merabishvili v. Georgia”).
The International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor and clarify all the details of this case.