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Court: Ruling on Bandera legal

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Jan. 12, 2011, 4:15 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Court ruling repealing Yuschenko's decree to confer Hero of Ukraine title to Bandera is legal.

Cassation appeals filed against a ruling by Donetsk District Administrative Court canceling former President Viktor Yuschenko's decree to confer the Hero of Ukraine title to Stepan Bandera were not considered by the Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine (HACU) and the HACU did not suspend this court ruling, thus, it currently has legal force. The HACU told Interfax-Ukraine that cassation appeals against the ruling would be considered as soon as they are submitted for consideration.

On Jan. 20, 2010, third Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko conferred the Hero of Ukrainian title to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).

On April 2, Donetsk District Administrative Court declared unlawful and subject to the repeal of Yuschenko's decree conferring the Hero of Ukraine title to Bandera. The plaintiff in the case - lawyer Volodymyr Olentsevych said that under the Ukrainian legislation the title of Hero of Ukraine may be conferred only on a citizen of Ukraine. According to him, Bandera is not a citizen of Ukraine, since he died in 1959 before Ukraine gained independence in 1991.

Yuschenko appealed to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine against the ruling by Donetsk District Administrative Court.

At the same time, the Constitutional Court refused to start constitutional proceedings on the constitutionality of Yuschenko's decree.

Bandera was a Ukrainian political activist who headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which fought for Ukraine's independence from Polish, Russian and other foreign invaders. Bandera was killed by KGB agent Bohdan Stashynsky in Munich on Oct. 15, 1959.
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