Kyiv, March 24, 2016. The head of the special investigations department of the Prosecutor General’s office Serhiy Horbatiuk was offered the position of the head of Lviv prosecutor’s office. In fact, he was given a choice: either he takes the new office or will be dismissed, said Olena Sotnyk, people’s deputy of Ukraine from the Samopomich faction at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Pavlo Dykan, lawyer of the Heavenly Hundred and a member of Advocacy Advisory Panel said that investigators of the special investigations department said that a number of cases regarding the events on Maidan have been already transferred to court. Now they can start investigating economic crimes of Yanukovych’s regime. He emphasized that there are still many people who were involved with those people and schemes remaining in power at present, and the Prosecutor General’s office does not allow bringing them to justice. “Activity of independent department [of special investigations] performing its functions in compliance with criminal procedure gives no peace to the state leaders and the Prosecutor General’s office being uncontrollable for them. This is the main reason for elimination of its head first of all, with further liquidation of the entire department.
According to Volodymyr Bondarchuk, son of a Hero of the Heavenly Hundred and a secretary of NGO ‘Family of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred’, the public supports Horbatiuk as a candidate for the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, because they see the results of his work. “The special investigations department and Horbatiuk gave us hope that the cases of our relatives’ murders will be brought to an end and the culprits will be punished – not only the committers, but the paymasters too. We can see the progress of this person,” said Bondarchuk. He also added that after a petition demanding to appoint Horbatiuk as Prosecutor General appeared on the President’s official web-site, the page malfunctioned and a number of votes were not counted.
Sotnyk said that information regarding the dismissal of investigators working with cases of ‘diamond prosecutors’ was received from the Deputy Prosecutor General David Sakvarelidze. Sotnyk believes this case was the first case that could prove that internal changes are taking place at the Prosecutor General’s office. Moreover, she said permanent pressure is being exerted upon the Office of Reforms at the Prosecutor General’s office: a case regarding presumable embezzlement of money intended for local prosecution offices’ reform was fabricated against it. The Verkhovna Rada cannot agree to dismiss the current Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, and the President does not initiate public discussion of candidates to this office. “Public prosecution is a closed, repressive system. Anyone wishing to change this approach will be roughly thrown out of the system and cut off from the possibility to reform it,” said Sotnyk. Roman Maselko, a lawyer of ‘Avtomaidan’ and a member of Advocacy Advisory Panel. Shokin remains an acceptable Prosecutor General for the state leaders. This means attempts will be made to leave him at the office or at least appoint him as an interim Prosecutor General. According to Maselko, the public is set against such a scenario, for they believe Shokin is guilty of “all those collapses of investigations and absence of people punished for the committed crimes”. He called upon everyone to sign the petition on the President’s website and participate in public protest events which will take place this and the following week.