20:37 04.11.2019

Human rights activists, former hostages concerned about court's refusal to use in-absentia trial procedure against so-called "prosecutor" of "LPR" Kornievsky

2 min read

KYIV. Nov 4 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Human rights activists and former hostages who were illegally held in the building of Luhansk Regional State Administration seized by illegal armed groups in occupied Donbas say they are concerned about a local court's refusal to use the in-absentia trial procedure against a so-called "prosecutor" of the self-proclaimed "Luhansk People's Republic" ("LPR"), who was involved in torturing detainees in the administration's premises.

In particular, the district court in Kreminna, Luhansk region, refused to carry out special court proceedings in the case of the so-called "LPR prosecutor" Arkadiy Kornievsky, head of NGO East Ukrainian Center for Public Initiatives Volodymyr Scherbachenko said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.

Kornievsky is a former officer of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine; he has been an "investigator" and "prosecutor" of the "LPR" since 2014 and was directly involved in torturing prisoners in the seized building of Luhansk State Administration.

Scherbachenko says his NGO has first-hand information from several dozen people who were victims of torture, threats and intimidation by Kornievsky.

"We believe that having taken such a decision, the court broke the balance of the rights of people who deserve justice, who expect an effective investigation from the state," Scherbachenko said.

Present at the press event Viktoria Kononova, who was illegally kept by "LPR" members in Luhansk Regional State Administration's building in the Russia-occupied city of Luhansk, noted that the Kornievsky case requires further investigation and, in general, there should be a different approach to investigating the crimes committed in Donbas.

Another victim of the "LPR" Dmytro Tynda dubbed the court's ruling the obstruction of justice and guessed that it could be connected with the judges' fear. "I'm more worried about what has been happening in our law enforcement agencies... Cases are being soft-pedaled... and local courts should not consider such cases," he said.

In turn, member of NGO Protection and Development Yevhen Tymofiy said that lawyers had already prepared a motion to appeal the ruling.

"Courts do not want to consider such cases, they are afraid that taking opposite decisions may have consequences ... These cases must be transferred to any other court ... After the Luhansky appeals court examines our appeal, we'll prepare a petition for the Supreme Court, seeking the transfer of the case to another court for consideration," he said.

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