12:56 20.03.2017

Attack on High Council of Justice head aimed at disrupting judicial reform, culprits must be apprehended

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has said the attack on High Council of Justice head Ihor Benedisiuk is an attempt to disrupt judicial reform and demands law-enforcement officials to quickly investigate the incident.

"The attack carried out by pseudo-activists wearing baklavas on the head of Ukraine's High Council of Justice last week is nothing more than an attempt to disrupt judicial reform and preserve the unacceptable status quo which exists in the system that we are trying to reform. The state must and will ensure judges and officials in the judiciary receive adequate protection," Poroshenko said during a sitting of the council of regional development in Kyiv on Monday.

Poroshenko demanded law-enforcement agencies quickly and objectively investigate the flagrant assault, adding head of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) Yuriy Lutsenko has taken the matter under his personal control.

As earlier reported, during the evening of March 17 more than 10 individuals in baklavas assaulted the head of Ukraine's High Council of Justice and his wife. The former fired a warning shot in the air to frighten the attackers.

Reports appearing on social media said a conflict arose between the High Council of Justice head and activists of the Tradition and Order youth organization. According to one of the participants in the incident, Benedisiuk attempted to use his car to run over one of the activists who accused him of corruption.

Police brought a dozen individuals involved the incident to Kyiv's Darnytsky district police station for questioning. Some of them declined to answer questions, citing Article 63 of the Constitution of Ukraine, while others said they had done nothing wrong.

Police have opened two criminal cases, one for hooliganism and the second for threatening the use of force against a state official (Benedisiuk).

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