Lawyers of killed Euromaidan activists submit new information on Euromaidan crimes to ICC
The lawyers of the killed Euromaidan activists have submitted new information on the crimes committed during Euromaidan protests to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC is currently conducting a preliminary analysis of the events which had taken place during the Revolution of Dignity. For the court to start a comprehensive investigation, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda should make sure whether Ukraine has the evidence of organization and large-scale nature of crimes against humanity.
“The scale factor means the prevalence of crimes across the country, while the organization signifies the establishment of a system of committing crimes by the top leadership of the state”, lawyer Pavlo Dykan noted.
“It is such a system which was aimed at committing mass crimes. In Ukraine there was a preliminary plan to commit those crimes. They are associated with a single control center, which was their mastermind and instigator,” he said.
However, the ICC prosecutor has not found any sufficient evidence of systemic or large-scale crimes in the materials, which had been submitted in 2014-2015 by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office and the non-governmental organizations.
“This means that those materials simply contained insufficient evidence. It was not enough for a proper and full analysis,” Pavlo Dykan said.
Content of submission
The submission, which was prepared by lawyers Pavlo Dykan, Roman Maselko, Oleksandr Yatsenko, Maryna Lylychenko, Markiyan Halabala, and Viktoria Deyneka, described the crimes that had been committed in Kyiv and other regional centers across Ukraine.
According to lawyer Markiyan Halabala, the most common offences, apart from crimes committed in Kyiv, were prosecution of the Automaidan activists.
The lawyers also described in their submission each episode of the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv since November 30, 2013.
“We are trying to inform the ICC prosecutor that those crimes were not just a response of the law enforcement agencies to certain actions of the protesters. They were a purposeful activity of the state to suppress the protests in Ukraine in different ways,” Markiyan Halabala noted.
The experts note that the ICC in The Hague holds liable the criminals who have been the top officials in the country.
“The ICC will not focus its efforts on five Berkut riot police officers, who are tried now in the Sviatoshynsky District Court of Kyiv. The Court is interested in the top officials – Yanukovych, former interior minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko, former head of the Security Service Oleksandr Yakymenko, former commander of the Interior Ministry internal troops Stanislav Shuliak,” Markiyan Halabala said.
“The consequences of the decision of, for example the European Court of Human Rights, are the recognition that the state violated the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights. The consequences of the ICC decision are an arrest warrant and prosecution of specific people,” added Roman Romanov, head of the Human Rights and Rule of Law program of the International Renaissance Foundation.
To prove the fact that the crimes committed during Euromaidan protests had been coordinated from the single center, the experts cite materials of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine. They point out that “there are testimonies of certain individuals indicating that the shooting of activists on February 20 was planned.” However, the lawyers refuse to disclose the names of the witnesses in the interests of the investigation.
“We also refer to the evidence, which was gathered independently, including on suppressing protests by the judicial branch,” Markiyan Halabala highlighted.
The experts separated the submission into the two blocks. The first block contains the materials of the criminal proceedings of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, which the lawyers tried to clearly interpret for the ICC prosecutor. The second block contains more than 100 pages of description and analysis of evidence of large-scale and organized attacks on Euromaidan activists.
The lawyers are confident that the fact of handing over the weapons to the hired thugs will be a weighty argument for the ICC. This, in lawyers’ opinion, is the evidence of involvement of militarist groups by the state.