Kyiv, March 16, 2016. Families of Heavenly Hundred’s heroes demand transparent competitive selection for the post of Prosecutor General of Ukraine and propose to consider Serhiy Gorbatyuk as a candidate. This statement has been made by Volodymyr Bondarchuk, son of one of the Heavenly Hundred’s heroes, Serhiy Bondarchuk, secretary of the NGO “Family of the Heavenly Hundred’s heroes” at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to him, the most important thing now is to investigate the cases against participants of the Revolution of Dignity and punish those responsible for deaths of the Heavenly Hundred. “The investigation of the crimes during the Revolution of Dignity indicates whether something has changed in our country,” noted Volodymyr Bondarchuk. In his opinion, some results in this sphere have appeared only after the establishment of the Department for Special Investigations of Prosecutor General Office (PGO). Therefore the activists propose considering Serhiy Gorbatyuk, Head of Department of Special Investigations of PGO, as a candidate for the position of Prosecutor General. “It was only him who managed to achieve certain results represented in his reports, such as experts’ reports on weapons and identification of persons involved in killing our relatives on February 20,” explained the son of the Heavenly Hundred hero.
The Prosecutor General Office requires radical changes, said Pavlo Sydorenko, coordinator of the initiative group of people injured at the Maidan. “In the rotten sea, which the Prosecutor General’s Office is now, the only island remains to exist just because there is a leader who prevents it from being sucked down in the bog of corruption […]. It is is the Department for Special Iinvestigations of PGO,” he said. Pavlol Sidorenko explained that the results of investigations are not as significant as we would like, but families of the Heavenly Hundred’s heroes, persons injured at Maidan and lawyers talk with Mr. Gorbatyuk almost every day, and they trust him.
According to Roman Maselko, “Automaidan” lawyer, member of the Lawyers Advisory Group, all the so–called Maidan crimes could be investigated. But it, above all, requires political will and desire. Moreover, those who are willing to work and are professionals in their field must have appropriate powers to carry out investigations and resources. The lawyer suggested that the Prosecutor General is now dependent on the will of President and MPs. “First and foremost, the Prosecutor General should be guided by the law […]. He must hear and rely on society. Society must be the key customer for whose benefit the Prosecutor General works,” emphasized Mr. Maselko. That is why candidates for the position of Prosecutor General must be initiated and trusted by the society. The lawyer called for public discussion of candidates for the position.
All the previous Prosecutor Generals promised three things to the public after Euromaidan, says Oleksandra Matviychuk, Coordinator at “Euromaidan-SOS”, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties. This means returning wealth obtained through corruption to Ukraine, investigating crimes committed during Euromaidan and implementing radical and comprehensive reform of the prosecution. “As you see, all three Prosecutor Generals failed these challenges, though with varying degrees of failure,” said Ms. Matviychuk. According to her, if people are appointed to this position as before, the next Prosecutor General will also fail these challenges, because the political parties cannot cope with them themselves. Therefore, society should be involved in the process of electing the Prosecutor Generals, and, among other things, the current politicians came to power this way, too. Accordingly, social activists demand that political parties and state authorities pertaining to this process should involve the public in the process of electing a new Prosecutor General. “We demand that the considered candidates are announced publicly. Secondly, we demand that these people should announce their action plan and we as the civil society can assess what they are going to do in this position,” said Ms. Matviychuk.