Pressure on the court in the case of A. Melnik, A. Kryzhanovsky, I. Pasichny, I. Kunik

Lawyers of A. Melnik, A. Kryzhanovsky, I. Pasichny and I. Kunik (accused of the murder of Judge O. Lobodenko and the Mayor of Kremenchug O. Babayev) declared that there is pressure on the court from the prosecutor’s office of the Poltava region and member of the Parliament of Ukraine Sergey Kaplin. S. Kaplin also registered the draft of a resolution of the Parliament on the creation of a parliamentary group to study the reasons for delaying the bringing to responsibility of those accused of killing the Mayor O. Babayev. In his statements, the member of the Parliament states that delaying with punishment undermines the authority of law enforcement and justice in Ukraine.

Such actions cause concern of the International Society for Human Rights, because the murder case is currently still being considered by the court and the guilt of all four has not been proven. And such actions of the authorities, excluding the possibility of the court acquittal, can be interpreted as interference in the judicial process. This demonstrates the lack of respect for the judicial branch as a whole and creates the ground for the fear that the courts lack independence and impartiality (ECHR case “SovtransavtoHolding vs. Ukraine”).

Earlier, when the case was considered in the Kievsky District Court of Poltava, for making a decision on the choice of preventive measure for A. Melnik and A. Kryzhanovsky in the form of house arrest, deputies of the Kremenchug City Council sent an appeal to the President of Ukraine, the Parliament and the High Council of Justice on the dismissal of the judge of the Kiev District Court of Poltava O. Logvinova. Under such pressure, the judge had to change her decision and apply a restraint in the form of detention.

Thus, it can be stated that the pressure on the court by the authorities is systematic and takes the form of a negative trend of violation of the right to a fair trial in Ukraine.

International Society for Human Rights experts will continue to monitor this trial. Previous materials can be found here.

Expert Council of the ISHR