: Human Rights in Ukraine: Russian-occupied Crimea prosecutor promises revenge for Euromaidan

18:06 Mar. 20, 2016

Human Rights in Ukraine: Russian-occupied Crimea prosecutor promises revenge for Euromaidan

Natalia Poklonskaya, prosecutor general of the Republic of Crimea, in her office., Mar., 15, 2016 (Getty Images)

Natalya Poklonskaya pledges reprisals for Ukrainian activists

Poklonskaya was speaking to former Ukrainian Berkut special force officers who later actively helped Russia seize control of Crimea. As reward for ignoring their oath to serve Ukraine and collaboration with an occupying nation, the former Berkut officers have been designated the role of ‘injured party' in prosecutions over which Russian-occupied Crimea has absolutely no jurisdiction.

She was appointed as ‘prosecutor' soon after Russian soldiers helped Sergei Aksyonov take control in Crimea.Poklonskaya has taken a leading role in two prosecutions which flout all principles of law, since the defendants have been taken into custody and charged with alleged offences which took place before Russia's annexation of Crimea with all parties Ukrainian nationals.

Read also Kremlin-backed prosecutor Poklonskaya moves to ban Crimean Tatars' Mejilis

On Jan 20, 2016, the same website reported that 23-year-old Andriy Kolomiyets had been arrested in Russia and was now charged with attempted murder of two people carrying out official duties, with this supposedly motivated by political or ideological hatred.

Kolomiyets is accused of being "a member of an extremist organization – the Ukrainian Insurgent Army" and of making an attempt on the lives of the two Crimean Berkut officers by hurling Molotov cocktails at them. The charges are likely to result in a long sentence despite their legal absurdity and the sheer impossibility of providing any credible proof.

Poklonskaya actually boasted of the one prosecution that has resulted in a conviction. Oleksandr Kostenko is one of the ever-increasing number of Crimeans under Russian occupation whom the renowned Russian Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognized as a political prisoner.

Watch also Crimean Tatar Mejlis hearing branded ‘kangaroo court' begins on Russian-occupied peninsula

Kostenko is an ex-Crimean police officer who took part in Euromaidan from December 2013. He was initially arrested by a Russian-occupied Crimean court and charged with an entirely unprovable ‘offence' in Kyiv on Feb 18, 2014, a month before Russia formally annexed Crimea. Kostenko was alleged to have been motivated by "a feeling of ideological hatred and enmity to law enforcement officers". Poklonskaya  personally ran the prosecution's case.

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