In Ukraine, the chaos of the judicial system and the complete lack of separation of powers became evident in a recent situation.
A district court blocked websites, the prosecutor’s office was caught unaware by the decision and overturned it. The Deputy Interior Minister barged in, after the situation had been largely resolved and decided to revive it to see what’s gone wrong.
Unjustified court decision, are administratively being overturned, and then the highest levels of state authority come in to see what is even happening, since there’s no mechanism to track how “Democracy works.”
On February 25th, the Goloseevsky district court of Kiev enforced its decision to block more than 400 sites on the territory of Ukraine.
The basis is the determination of the investigating judge of the Goloseevsky District Court of Kiev dated on February 4th, 2021, on the grounds of a criminal offense under Part 3 of Art. 190 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
“Seizure of intellectual property rights arising from Internet users when using web resources by ordering Internet providers to close access to them,” the statement said.
The list is exactly 426 websites, and includes GitHub, Reddit and LiveJournal.
It provides a complete list of web resources to which operators and ISPs must restrict access.
The plot of the case says that an agricultural businessman Alexander Pan, also known in the field of IT startups, filed a statement with the police at the end of December.
He stated that third parties interfered in his life “using the Internet.”
The banned sites are those that “interfered” in his life and posted defamatory information.
At the same time, examples of articles that are posted on these sites and violate the law are not given – only their addresses are indicated in the document.
It is noteworthy that the list indicated by the plaintiff does not coincide with the one that entered the National Communications Commission.
So, in the court decision there is Reddit, which is not in the list given by Alexander Pan. In particular, Pan’s complaint does not contain either RBC or Live Journal, but they are on the list of the National Communications Service.
In addition, a private person acts as the applicant in the court decision. Although the statement of the National Communications Committee says that the verdict of the Goloseevsky court was sent to them by the investigator of the National Police, as the institution in charge of this case.
Following a short-lived scandal, the prosecutor’s office closed the case, because of which the court in Ukraine ruled to block more than 400 sites, including RBC, LiveJournal, Banki.ru and others, the press secretary of the Kiev city prosecutor’s office Nadezhda Maksimets said.
“On February 25, the procedural leader made a decision to close the specified criminal proceedings and, at the same time, to cancel the seizure of intellectual property rights,” she said.
According to Maksimets, the prosecutor’s office was not notified of the court session at which the decision was made. The supervisory agency has begun an official check in connection with the actions of employees of the Goloseevsky police department during the investigation.
So it was overturned.
But the situation continued, as more officials entered “the fray”.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the country Anton Gerashchenko on February 25 said that the court’s decision to block 426 sites on the territory of Ukraine, including Live Journal and the site of the Russian edition of RBC, is illegal and will be reviewed. Even though it was already lifted.
“We consider this decision to be absolutely unlimited, illegal and wrong. Therefore, now it will be reviewed and studied by the investigator and the prosecutor,” he said.
Gerashchenko noted that the judge ruled to block the sites after a statement from a citizen who claimed that information was disseminated on these resources that discredited him. A businessman filed a statement with the police, who asked to arrest and block websites.
As such, a court decision was taken that banned 400 sites, and many of them weren’t even on the plaintiffs list.
Then the prosecutor’s office overturned the decision, unblocking the sites.
But then the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs said that it was wrong to block the sites, and that an investigation was necessary, after the entire situation was reversed, anyway.
This shows that due process in Ukraine is an illusion. The separation of power and the basic principles of law are just formally there, but actually there is no semblance of such an occurrence.
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