Monitoring the case of Kulish Natalya (session 03/06/2020)

On March 6, 2020, in the Zaliznychny District Court of the city of Lvov, a criminal case No. 12019140000000394 was examined on charges of Natalya Kulish in attempting to sell her minor daughter to the Czech Republic for sexual slavery (under part 3 of article 149 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). Criminal proceedings on charges of Kulish N.I. considered collectively, composed of three judges: Kirilyuk A.I., Rumilova N.M., Liush A.I. The International Society for Human Rights continues to monitor this case.

The hearing was scheduled for 11:00 am but started at 11:55. The day before the hearing, the prosecutor S. Krishtanovich filed a motion to postpone consideration of the case in connection with the passage of re-certification.

The presiding judge Kirilluk A. submitted the petition of the prosecutor for discussion, as well as to clarify the attitude of the participants in the case to this petition. The lawyer Sidoruk E.O., as well as the accused Kulish N.I. herself, did not object to the satisfaction of the prosecutor’s request.

The court decided to grant the motion and adjourned the hearing to 03/26/2020.

It should be noted that the accused Kulish N. has been in custody since 06/13/2019. And from her words, during a long stay in custody, her health condition deteriorated significantly.

As follows from the case law of the ECtHR, the conditions of detention can be recognized as degrading and violating Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter – the Convention), if the state of health of the accused has worsened significantly during his detention. In particular, the European Court notes such factors as overpopulation and unsanitary conditions in the cells and their negative impact on the health and well-being of persons detained for a long time (“Kalashnikov v. Russia”, “Florea v. Romania”). Kulish N.I. also complained about the presence of the above factors in the issue of deterioration of health.

In addition, the International Society for Human Rights considers it important to note that in the criminal proceedings against N. Kulish the court did not consider a measure of restraint other than an exceptional one – detention. This is also regarded by the ECtHR as a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention in cases where it is a long term of detention, and the domestic courts justify the extension of the terms of detention on the same grounds throughout the entire period of detention, or do not substantiate at all (“Baryshevsky v. Ukraine”, para. 69, “Eloev v. Ukraine”, para. 60, “Kharchenko v. Ukraine”, para. 80, “Gerashchenko v. Ukraine”), and also do not consider the issue of applying an alternative measure of restraint (“Baryshevsky v. Ukraine” p. 51; 64).

The next hearing in this case is scheduled for 03/26/2020 at 11:00 am. Experts from the International Society for Human Rights will continue to monitor this trial.