Monitoring the case of Larisa Papaevich (session 09.10.2019)

09/10/2019 in the Sikhovsky District Court of the city of Lvov with the participation of a panel of judges: presiding judge I. Rudakova, judges – B. Mychko, C. Chernoy the session was held in the case of L. Papaevich, accused under paragraphs 1, 2, 9, 13 of part 2 of Art. 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The conviction in the form of life imprisonment was passed at this session.

On December 24, 2015, police officers detained a 47-year-old resident of the village of Tyaglov, Sokolsky District, on suspicion of killing two women (28 and 70 years old) and an eight-year-old child. When considering the case in court, the accused’s health condition worsened, and therefore, from December 20, 2016, compulsory medical measures were applied to her in the form of hospitalization in a psychiatric institution with strict supervision. After the accused recovered, in July 2018, the proceedings were resumed.

The analysis of the court verdict indicates that in determining the sentence the panel of judges took into account the severity of the crimes committed by her, which the legislator classifies as especially serious; the totality of all the circumstances that characterize her, including the fact that she was not previously convicted, her marital status, lack of a permanent job, lack of income; the state of her mental health; her behavior and form of guilt, lack of criticism of her behavior, and the fact that she did not admit her guilt.

It follows from the verdict that the court took into account the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, in particular, the ECtHR decision in the case of “Kobets v. Ukraine”, in paragraph 43 of which the Court noted that according to its case-law in assessing evidence, it is guided by the criterion “beyond reasonable doubt”. Such evidence should flow from a combination of features or irrefutable presumptions, sufficiently weighty, clear and mutually agreed.

Having heard the participants in criminal proceedings, having examined the case materials, the panel of judges decided to appoint Larisa Papaevich the maximum punishment provided for by the sanction of paragraph 1 of part 2 of article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, in the form of life imprisonment.

According to the verdict, when deciding on the measure of restraint in the form of detention, the court, on the basis of the provisions of paragraph “a” part 1 of article 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, paragraph 31, paragraph 32, paragraph 46 , paragraph 62 of the decision of the ECtHR in the case of “Ruslan Yakovenko v. Ukraine” considered it necessary before the sentence entered into force not to change a measure of restraint for L. Papaevich.

The International Society for Human Rights will clarify the details of the proceedings, but at this stage no human rights violations, including the right to a fair trial, have been detected. In addition, L. Papaevich and her lawyer did not report violations during or after the trial.