11:21 20.02.2019

Heavenly Hundred families criticize delays in Maidan murder investigations, don't rule out suing Ukraine at ECHR

3 min read
Heavenly Hundred families criticize delays in Maidan murder investigations, don't rule out suing Ukraine at ECHR

Lawyers for the Heavenly Hundred's family and relatives have complained about the delay in investigating and adjudicating cases of murders and violent acts against Euromaidan activists and the Revolution of Dignity, and do not rule out appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with a lawsuit against the Ukrainian state.

At a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday, Vitaliy Tytych, a lawyer for the families of the dead and injured on the Euromaidan, said lawyers don't believe Ukraine is complying with the European Convention on Human Rights by ensuring a prompt, effective investigation and judicial review.

"We will think about collective appeal to the ECHR to establish the fact of this violation. I do not know how effective this will be, but at least it prevents whoever is in power every five years from putting their hands on their hearts and promising to do everything in their power to finish the investigation," Tytych said.

Chairman of the non-governmental organization Families of Heavenly Hundred Heroes Volodymyr Bondarchuk said court hearings about the Maidan killings are constantly postponed and delayed.

He said Kyiv's Sviatoshynsky district court judge Serhiy Diachuk since 2016 has not event ordered a ballistic examination in the case involving five former Berkut riot policemen.

Bondarchuk said families of the victims wanted to hold an event in the Verkhovna Rada this year and appeal to deputies, since a large number of problems arising in the investigation of cases are connected with legislation.

"But this year, there were no events for communication with the parliament, with prosecutors on the five-year anniversary of the tragedy. We continue fighting, although for these five years 17 parents of Heavenly Heroes hundreds have passed away. We continue fighting because the inevitability of punishment for crimes is needed for Ukraine," he said.

Euromaidan SOS representative Oleksandra Matviychuk said after the creation of the Department of Special Investigations at the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) in 2015, the PGO began downsizing the department.

"We all look forward with horror to the transferring of cases to the State Bureau of Investigation, which is supposed to take place in a year. In fact, this means that everything must start anew, and we have to 'nullify' these five years. It is important to ensure continuity or remedy the situation in some way," she said.

Matviychuk said many criminal cases related to the events of the Revolution of Dignity, in contrast to the case of ex-Berkut officers being considered in the Sviatoshinsky district court, are not properly litigated.

"It's obvious that judges misuse their position in order for deadlines to run out. Without engaging the international component, both in the investigation process and in the judicial review process, in any format, even by creating international 'hybrid' courts on cases involving Maidan, there will be no advancement," Matviychuk lamented.

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