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Hryhoriy Nemyria: Kuzmin's letter to US Congress shows 'contempt' for democracy

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Oct. 3, 2012, 4:24 p.m. |

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko (C) reviews documents on June 16, 2009 with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria (L).
© AFP

 Hryhoriy Nemyria, deputy head of the Batkivshchyna Party and deputy prime minister of Ukraine from 2007-2010 issued this response to Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin's open letter criticizing the U.S. Congress for the Sept. 22 Senate resolution condemning human rights abuses in Ukraine.

"Legal language is often dense and impenetrable, but sometimes legal phrases cut to the bone.  One such phrase is res ipsa loquitur – the thing speaks for itself.  Certainly, the recent open letter to the US Senate by Ukraine’s Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin speaks for itself, because it speaks not only of his unprofessional conduct as a prosecutor, but of the vendetta being waged by the regime of which he is a loyal factotum.

"Let me begin by addressing Mr. Kuzmin’s unprofessional conduct.  Although there is no official international code of conduct for prosecutors, there is a “Draft Code of Professional Conduct of the International Association of Prosecutors” which does point us in the right direction, and certainly reflects the standards to which all honest prosecutors should seek to adhere.  Although Mr Kuzmin violates many aspects of this code on a regular basis, let me point out just two to which his letter to the US Senate is clearly in breach:  Point 5 of the above code requires that prosecutors “Respect the fundamental rights of suspects and accused persons to a fair trial.”  Yet in his letter, Mr. Kuzmin clearly pronounces Mrs. Tymoshenko as guilty of doing grave and irreparable harm to her country.

"Point 9 in the code requires that prosecutors 'Be and appear to be consistent, impartial, objective, and independent.' But how can a prosecutor who roams the world denouncing Mrs. Tymoshenko, who writes public and open letters to legislative bodies such as the US Senate, and engages on public platforms to denounce a person that he has brought criminal charges against maintain impartiality?  He cannot, and Mr Kuzmin does not even attempt to do so. 

"By his unprofessional conduct, Mr. Kuzmin’s letter speaks for itself: it is a blatant attempt to smear a defendant internationally, nothing more. 

"Mr. Kuzmin is so obviously a partisan that he, to all intents and purposes, accuses the U.S. government of perverting the course of justice in refusing to cooperate in his prosecutorial campaign against former prime minister Tymoshenko.  Moreover, his offer to present his claimed 'evidence' against Mrs Tymoshenko in any court, or in the public media, is also a violation of the professional standards of a prosecutor, for any prosecutor interested in the rule of law presents evidence in a court of law, where a defendant has a chance to cross-examine and rebut.  But of course, given the record of Mrs Tymoshenko’s previous trial, this fundamental aspect of justice is also denied to her.

"Mr. Kuzmin’s note is simply further confirmation of the judicial vendetta the government of President Viktor Yanukovich is waging against not only Yuliya Tymoshenko, but all those who wish to defend freedom in Ukraine.  That so mendacious an attempt to influence American opinion was even attempted suggests the contempt which Ukraine’s rulers hold for true democratic representatives." 

 

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