Whose side is the Ukrainian Themis on? Aydar fighters catch separatists, and the court presses charges

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2014/10/06 • Op-ed

Article by: Yana Polyanska

The Aydar command is panicking: the government is discrediting the volunteer battalions and drawing up criminal cases on the fighters against separatism. Meanwhile the Kyiv Appeal Court decided that the former command of the ‘black Berkut regiment’ Dmytro Sadovnyk has to return under guard. However, the man who is being accused of killing 39 Maidan activists, fled house arrest on October 3 and is currently wanted. 

Aydar had all the grounds to arrest Pavel Malysh, the so-called ‘former deputy Minister for Healthcare of LNR’ group, which is deemed terrorist in Ukraine. This was said by Andriy Revutsky, one of the two fighters who is being accused for illegally detaining the separatist. According to him, Aydar has documental evidence of Pavel Malysh’s corruption schemes, and of the fact that he controlled the health condition of the kidnapped Ukrainians in Luhansk. When Malysh moved to Kyiv in July, Revutsky says, he continued to coordinate the separatists by phone. The Aydar fighter emphasizes: nobody was taken by force, Malysh cooperated with the battalion without violence.

“We got information that he was in the ATO zone. We met, peacefully invited him, without masks or weapons. He voluntarily got into the car, spoke to his family by phone, started testifying. After this he proposed to come to Kyiv and give additional materials. The MIA and the SBU were aware of all this,” he says.

Defense: Aydar tried to prevent a grievous crime – separatism

Aydar’s lawyer Anatoly Bashlovka says: the documents and materials the accusation is based on are arguable, contain no evidence and are grounded in assumptions. Besides, according to him, the testaments of the plaintiff and his wife are contradictory.

“It is unclear why the boys are being arrested, as they did not physically force the person in any way. And this individual says in his very testament that he got into the car voluntarily. And why are the boys being detained so brutally, maiming them?” The advocate says.

Bashlovka also emphasizes the fact that by law anyone has the right to step outside the limits of law to prevent a more grievous crime. However, at the moment Andriy Revustky and Valery Havrylov, who had detained Malysh, are facing up to 5 years in prison.

“Separatism is an especially grievous crime. We will take control, so that the fact that this individual was involved in separatism is proven. Then there will be no questions for the buys,” says he.

Whose side is Ukrainian justice on? 

Pavlo Malysh is currently with the SBU, however, Aydar reports that they did not want to arrest him. According to the representatives of the battalion, it is more beneficial for the government to put all responsibility on the volunteer battalion. The battalion’s press secretary Serhiy Zilov comments: the fighters are de facto doing the work of law enforcement services, catching the separatists, and for this the court unfairly draws up criminal cases against them.

“While a Berkuter who shot people, killed them is being let go, they don’t have any questions. And the wounded fighter brought (Malysh – ed.) in, how can they deliver someone without arresting them? By air or with a wave of their hands? He was not tied, beaten, not detained in a basement – he was taken here,” Zilov comments.

The court orders Sadovnyk to return under guard – the latter fled and is currently wanted

Meanwhile, while there are about two months left until the first hearing in the Aydar fighters’ case, on Monday, October 6, a resonant session of the Appeal Court in regard to Dmytro Sadovnyk’s case was held. The leader of the ‘Berkut black regiment,’ who is suspected of shooting 39 Euromaidan activists, was ordered by the court to return to prison. However, according to the MIA, Sadovnyk had fled house arrest back on October 3 and is currently wanted.

Sadovnyk’s lawyer Serhiy Vilkov assured the court that neither him, nor the wife of his defendant know where the former Berkuter is now. He also added that he could have possibly been kidnapped, or he had fled, fearing for his life.

“He was kidnapped, Sadovnyk’s wife wrote a claim that her family received threats. My defendant could not leave behind his family, he has three children and a retired mother. And here are his diplomas for good service,” Sadovnyk’s lawyer said in court. In response, the court resounded with yells of, ‘Shame!’

Judge: the Appeal Court followed procedure

Meanwhile the judge of the Appeal court commented during the hearing that the court had acted within the framework of procedure and reacted to Sadovnyk’s absence according to current legislation.

“The individual was ill. Did we have information he was in a healthcare institution? We did. The court had no right to hear his case in his absence. The second time the court determines against that he is in a healthcare institution. The third time we issue an order for attendance – he does not attend, we issue the order for detainment and delivery to court,” the judge added.

Dmytro Sadovnyk’s current location is unknown. His lawyer appeals to his defendant’s innocence, commenting that Sadovnyk had even given his external passport to the court, guaranteeing he would not flee.

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine expressed their suspicion to the judge of Pechersk District Court of Kyiv Svitlana Volkova, who decided to free former Berkuter Dmytro Sadovnyk, who is being suspected of shooting 39 Euromaidan participants. For issuing an obviously illegitimate decision, Volkova is facing punishment in form of imprisonment for 5-8 years.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Source: Radio Liberty

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  • W8post

    There’s a very big broom needed in the Justice (?) Department AND somebody with very big balls to sweep the place!

  • sandy miller

    Where are Poroshenko and Yat’s aren’t they supposed to be cleaning up government? Another disgusting story coming out of Ukraine. It sounds like Putin owns the new Kyivan government afterall. So sad all those volunteers who died for the country. People should put the new government on trial.

  • Murf

    I guess the court doesn’t consider treason a punishable offence.
    If you want to clean up corruption in Ukraine you will have to start at the top with the judiciary and work your way south. other wise they will overturn anti corruption laws and dismiss charges.

  • dok

    This story makes me sick. People and volunteers from Ukraine and the west are donating supplies to the volunteer battalions to help them fight the russian separatists. And the court system inside Ukraine is imprisoning volunteers from the battalions. It seems like the more things change in Ukraine the more they stay the same. I am beginning to lose faith in Ukraine. The corruption in Ukraine is endless and it will destroy Ukraine much worse than Russia ever could.