Parliament adopts government bill on mandatory filming of police raids on businesses
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has adopted at first reading and as a whole draft law No. 7275 on amendments to some legislative acts to ensure that law enforcement agencies observe the rights of participants in criminal proceedings and other persons during pre-trial investigations.
A total of 312 lawmakers voted for the government-prepared bill at a parliament meeting on Thursday, November 16.
The head of the committee on legislative support for law enforcement activities (the Batkivschyna faction), Andriy Kozhemiakin, said that the bill determines video recording as an integral part of the conduct of search operations. The parliamentary committee recommended that the bill be adopted at first reading.
"While we pass this law, 15 search operations are being conducted in the country. Every day we have 250 raids on businesses, and this year this figure has already reached 100,000," Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said.
According to the text of the bill posted on the parliament's website, the document stipulates the right of the applicant to obtain an excerpt from the single register of pre-trial investigations regarding his application or report of a criminal offense and also establishes the duty of the investigator or prosecutor to provide such an excerpt in 24 hours after the information on the offense is provided.
"[The law] applies a rule that works in many European countries - if the lawyer was not invited during a search operation, all the materials found cannot be used as evidence," MP Yuriy Odarchenko said during the discussion of the bill.
The bill also foresees mandatory video recording of search operations and consideration of petitions by the investigative judge, except for the decision on conducting secret investigative actions.
"At the same time, the video recording provided by the investigator and the prosecutor is an integral part of a search protocol. At the same time, the defense team has the right to independently carry out a video recording of the raid," reads the explanatory note to the bill.