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You're reading: Canned democracy

The door to Europe, and specifically the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement was all but slammed shut by the rejection
on Wednesday of former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko’s cassation
appeal.  Ukraine’s High Specialized Court upheld the outcome of a trial,
which, as repeatedly pointed out by the EU and the democratic
community, “did not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal processes.

of law was just as removed from a courtroom in Zaporizhzhya, which on April 2 convicted two former sacristans of the Svyatopokrovsk Church and
the brother of one of them to 15 and 14-year prison sentences over the
bomb blast in the Church on 28 July 2010.  Judge Minasov ignored the fact that there was no evidence
in the case aside from multiple “confessions” made without proper
defence, and almost certainly under physical and psychological
pressure.  The confirmation of this by two forensic psychologists was
ignored, while a third report which interpreted smiles, gestures etc
during the night interrogations as evidence of an “inclination to
crime”  was quoted in detail in the judgement.  Minasov had rejected
applications to have all forensic psychologists summoned to give
evidence.  The list of irregularities in this case is as long as that in
the trial of Lutsenko, and widely believed to be linked with the fact
that President Yanukovych at the time demanded arrests within the week.

both these cases, as well as the ongoing attempt to charge former Prime
Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with murder, few believe that the judges – or
prosecutor – in the cases are acting autonomously.

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