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30.08.2007

The Solomyansky District Court in Kyiv has revoked the decision to initiate a criminal investigation against the leader of the civic organization “Youth – Ukraine’s Hope” “due to the lack of elements or incidents indicating a crime”.

A brief reminder of the facts of this case:

Vadim Hladchuk, was one of a group who had been picketing the Tender Chamber for a month. They were demanding that a stop be put to the blocking of a government website for tender advertisements not under the control of the Chamber itself. They also alleged corrupt dealings by the honorary head of the Chamber Oleksandr Tkachenko, a National Deputy of the recently dissolved Verkhovna Rada from the Communist Party.

Vadim was detained by police on 1 August and charged with a robbery involving construction instruments which happened two years ago. He had, incidentally, been in Kyiv throughout that period but had received no summons or any other communication from the police.

Human rights groups reacted very promptly, roundly condemning what they feared might be a return to the old tactics of intimidating those in power and big business interests before the elections.

Volodymyr Yavorsky from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union particularly called on the media to ensure that this case was not hushed up. 

After two initial extraordinary decisions first to remand Vadim in custody on 3 August, then to extend the period of detention (on 10 August), sanity and the rule of law began to reassert themselves. On 16 August the Kyiv Court of Appeal allowed an appeal against the decision to remand Vadim in custody.

And today, 30 August, the same court which had initially sanctioned remand for a person who had been at liberty for two years blithely unaware of any suspicions (or of any crime), threw the case out.

The Kyiv Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against the decision of the Solomyansky District Court in Kyiv on 11 August to remand Hladchuk in custody.

Vadim’s lawyer Oleh Musiyenko told the UNIAN press agency that the decision to revoke the ruling and release his client pending trial was the “the first small victory” which made him hopeful for the future outcome of the case.

As already reported here (see The Same “No!” to old tactics) this case has aroused concern among human rights defenders.  The crime the young man is charged with seems suspiciously old (it allegedly took place two years ago) and very vague, while there are suspicions that the sudden interest in Hladchuk is linked to his having organized a picket calling for more transparency in the Tender Chamber and addressing specific accusations against the honorary Head of the Chamber, a National Deputy from the Communist Party (in the recently dissolved Verkhovna Rada).

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