: Human Rights in Ukraine: Chief Maidan crimes investigator threatened with criminal charges

12:48 Apr. 21, 2016

Human Rights in Ukraine: Chief Maidan crimes investigator threatened with criminal charges

Serhiy Horbatyuk at briefing on the results of investigation of crimes during the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv, February 18, 2016. (Photo UNIAN)

Alarm bell rings as the last 'bastion' of Maidan crimes investigators is threatened with the criminal charges  

Civic activists and Euromaidan victims' lawyers have sounded the alarm about a major offensive against Serhiy Horbatyuk and his special investigative department which has been described as the "last bastion within the Prosecutor General's Office really doing anything to investigate Euromaidan-related crimes".  Several criminal investigations have been initiated against members of the department and Horbatyuk could himself be facing criminal charges for alleged ‘negligence'. 

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Horbatyuk spoke publicly on April 20 about what he calls major obstruction from the Prosecutor General's Office [PGO] leadership.  He specifically accused Yury Stolyarchuk, Deputy Prosecutor General of pressure on the investigation into crimes against Euromaidan activists, and said that he had made a formal complaint about this to acting PG Yury Sevruk.  An internal investigation is due to report back on April 27.

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Both Sevruk and Stolyarchuk are considered to be close allies of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, and both men have been mentioned as in the running to take Shokin's place.  While President Petro Poroshenko is believed to want Yury Lutsenko to take over, the latter does not have a legal background, and a bill, already prepared, must be passed to allow this hurdle to be overcome.

Conflict with the PGO management is not new, and the Advocacy Advisory Panel, a civic initiative of Euromaidan victims' lawyers, and other civic organizations have on many occasions reported attempts to sabotage the vital work being carried out by Horbatyuk and his relatively small team of investigators. 

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