He has to wear a monitor bracelet that electronically transmits signals of his whereabouts to on-duty police. He was allotted this privileged confinement because he had complained of a sudden heart condition and was brought before a judge on a stretcher. It may have been done to soften his potential sentence of a maximum 10 years in prison, confiscation of property and a three-year ban from holding public office.
Then Melnyk escapes from house arrest and disappears into thin air, while the police take their time responding to the alarm signal. They have no idea where the alleged heart patient has gone. The bracelet – part of a batch that cost Ukrainian tax payers Hr 19.1 million – proved to be of no use.
This story, first and foremost, speaks about police incompetence. But it also reflects many of society’s problems in just a single case study. The actual character allows one to take a glimpse at the quality of the political elite. The 56-year-old man has been a prominent figure in the Party of Regions for a long time.