Quite soon, on the eve of the 4th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity, the President will sign the Decrees on appointment of the judges of the new Supreme Court.
This is to be a final step in implementation of the judicial reform initiated by the President that allows for cleansing and renovation of the judicial system and restoration of trust to it – as the Protector of the Constitution promised.
After all, it was supposed to be a realization of one of major Maidan demands – that Heavenly Hundred heroes sacrificed their lives for.
Were their families’ hopes justified and expectations met? Weren’t those losses in vain?
October 7-8 general meeting of “Families of Heavenly Hundred Heroes” NGO was held, where the appeal of the families to the President was approved and signed. It includes the evaluation of the results of selection to the Supreme Court and the general situation concerning punishment of the judges that convicted Maidan activists.
To the President of Ukraine, Mr. Petro Poroshenko
Open Appeal of Families of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes concerning the selection results to the Supreme Court and the state of affairs regarding bringing guilty judges to account.
During the Revolution of Dignity, the judges became a punitive force of the crime authorities – instead of protecting the innocent. Hundreds of judges pronounced hundreds of deliberately and obviously wrongful and unjust judgements resulting in arresting injured activists, taking away driving licences from members of AutoMaidan, banning of peaceful protests. Any lawful means for protection were non-existent. It made the Heavenly Hundred Heroes sacrifice their lives for the sake of changes for better.
The authorities committed to ensuring the proper investigation and punishment of the robe-wearing criminals. 4 years have almost passed. Nevertheless, not a single judge incurred a sentence as result of a criminal case. Most of the cases are still in the initial stage.
Only 34 of over 350 “Maidan judges” were dismissed. Remaining 90% hold their posts, receive their salaries, and administer “in-justice”. Over 82% of them are sure to incur no sentence as the High Council of Justice refused to call them to account, in most cases – due to the statute of limitation.
A year ago, You, Mr. President, initiated the judicial reform, one of major tasks of which was to cleanse the judicial power of judges that discredited themselves. It was Your promise to the society that only judges of integrity would work in the new courts.
The selection to the Supreme Court was a key stage of the reform.
We were astonished and disappointed when the selection winners list included judges that prohibited peaceful gatherings during the Revolution of Dignity (O. Zolotnikov), helped “Maidan judges” to escape liability (M. Smokovych, L. Moroz, V. Yurchenko, T. Strelets), covered up the organizers of passing multiple wrongful verdicts and did not facilitate investigation of “Maidan judges” (A. Lesko, V. Simonenko).
Among the selection winners, there is a number of other candidates, that cannot explain the origin of their assets, passed politically biased judgements, crudely violated the human rights – and recognised by the Public Integrity Council as failing to meet the criteria of integrity and professional ethics. However, those conclusions were discarded by the High Qualification Committee of Judges and the High Council of Justice without any explanations.
The selection result proved that existing judges selection procedure is imperfect, and the High Qualification Committee of Judges and the High Council of Justice, mostly consisting of judges, cannot ensure cleansing and renovation of the judicial system according the society’s expectations.
We cannot believe that after making numerous personal promises to punish the guilty, to cleanse the judicial power, to restore the trust to the court, You will sign the Order to appoint those figures the judges of the new Supreme Court. On the eve of the 4th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity it will be seen as an outrage upon the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and evidence of their sacrifices being in vain. The cleansing will not take place, the reform will appear to be another sham, the trust to the court will not be restored.
We DEMAND that You, Mr. President:
- carry out your obligations of the Protector of the Constitution and ensure the fulfillment of the Maidan demands, the Constitution and Your own promises and prevent the said judges from being appointed to the Supreme Court.
- take measures to amend all the deficiencies in the judges qualification evaluation that made possible that such figures won the selection, provide more rights to the civil society in selecting judges, and renew the panel and the appointment rules.
- launch mechanisms in a short time for establishing an independent anti-corruption court under the special procedure not allowing discredited figures to win the selection.
President is personally responsible for the implementation of the Maidan demands and of the judicial reform. We count on Your understanding the responsibility, so that You will not waste the chances our country received thanks to sacrifices of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes.
Glory to Ukraine!
Roman Maselko, lawyer, AutoMaydan, Oct. 16, pravda.com.ua