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30.12.2021

On the inevitability of punishment for crimes against lawyers

The other day, the investigators of the Territorial Department of the Kyiv State Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the National Police Directorate , reported the suspicion of an employee of the Sviatoshyn Police Department of Kyiv and three patrolmen, who used force against the lawyer and obstructed his legal activities.

So, back in July 2020, the lawyer became an accidental witness of the arrest of a couple by the police on suspicion of drug possession. He offered legal assistance and verbally entered into a corresponding agreement with the man and woman. Immediately after that, the lawyer presented a lawyer’s certificate and made a legal demand to the law enforcement officers to remove the handcuffs from his clients, but the police refused.

In addition, after the arrival of the investigative team of the Sviatoshyn police department, the inspector of the investigation department did not allow the defender to the place of inspection of the event and ordered him to leave. She also prohibited the recording of investigative actions on a mobile phone, ignoring the legal demands of the lawyer and the detainee.

In turn, the patrol officers carried out the illegal instructions of the inspector. They pushed the lawyer away when he tried to approach his client, knocked the phone out of his hands, knocked him to the ground and inflicted several blows on his body.

After that, law enforcement officers handcuffed the lawyer and took him to the police station.

Thus, the inspector of the investigation department is suspected of interfering in the activities of the defender using his official position (Part 2 of Article 397 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), two patrol officers – of abuse of power accompanied by violence (Part 2 of Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), and one the patrol police inspector is charged with both of the above-mentioned articles.

The sanctions of the articles provide for punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of up to 8 years with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for a term of up to 3 years.

Procedural management is carried out by the Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office, operational support is provided by the Terupravlinia DBR Kyiv.

According to the chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Lawyers’ Rights of the Kyiv Region Bar Council, Vitaliy Nauma , the Committee accompanied the specified case from the very first minutes. The lawyers had to go through many “moments” and hurdles until the work turned into a result.

“We remind once again that crimes against lawyers will not go unpunished. We hope that this and other examples of the Committee’s work will “cool down hot heads”. Together with our colleagues, we keep our word about the inevitability of punishment for crimes against lawyers,” V. Naum emphasized.

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