Three statements and one “sudden” criminal proceeding: the police detained and isolated a domestic abuser
Publication date: June 13, 2023
Courage to confront domestic violence by openly declaring it, as well as the professional help of lawyers of the Kolomyia (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast) NGO “Triangle” are the components of this story. Thanks to them and the public outcry, the police opened criminal proceedings for the beating and arrested the offender.
Oksana* is an IDP from the city of Energodar (Zaporizhzhia oblast). Her son is currently defending Ukraine in the ranks of the Armed Forces, and the woman lives with her husband in Kolomyia. This is not the first time she has turned to NGO “Triangle”. This time, a sad event brought her to the lawyers: Oksana was severely beaten by some man, who had signs of a mentally ill person.
As a result of the brutal beating, the woman received numerous bruises on her face and body, as the man beat her with his hands and feet, she has a broken nose and a concussion.
The woman said that she previously submitted a statement to the police, where the document was registered as a complaint, so Oksana did not receive an extract from the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations, and criminal proceedings were not opened.
- There was only half a day left to appeal the inaction of the police at the time of the appeal, as the woman had no idea that there were certain deadlines. Our lawyers drew up and sent a corresponding complaint to the court. The fact is that the duty of the investigator or prosecutor does not require evaluation by the subjects of such a statement (message) for the presence of signs of a criminal offense. This is necessary in order to perform a procedural action, which consists in entering information about a criminal offense into the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations. The above is confirmed by the imperative provisions of the fourth part of Article 214 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, according to which refusal to accept and register a statement or notification of a criminal offense is not allowed, – explains the lawyer of the organization Inna Kolesnyk.
The lawyers studied the situation and realized that Oksana had submitted not one, but three such statements. But none received proper action from the police. At the same time, Oksana’s story gained publicity on the pages of local social networks.
In accordance with subparagraph 1 of paragraph 3 of section I of the Provisions, the entry of information into the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations is carried out in the following terms:
- Statements, notification of a committed criminal offense — immediately, but no later than 24 hours after the submission of a statement, notification of a committed criminal offense or after independent discovery by the investigator, prosecutor from any source of circumstances that may indicate the commission of a criminal offense (part one of Article 214 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine).
- In the event of the introduction of martial law and if there is no technical possibility of access to the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations, the decision to initiate a pretrial investigation is made by the inquirer, investigator, and prosecutor, on which a corresponding resolution is issued, which must contain the information provided for in part five of Article 214 of this Code.
In urgent cases, an inspection of the scene of the incident may be conducted before the investigator, investigator, or prosecutor issues a decision on the initiation of a pre-trial investigation (the decision is taken immediately after the inspection is completed).
Information to be entered into the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations shall be entered into it as soon as possible, and procedural actions during criminal proceedings shall be recorded in relevant procedural documents, as well as by means of technical means of recording criminal proceedings, except in cases where recording by means of technical means impossible for technical reasons.
If it is not possible to draw up procedural documents about the progress and results of investigative (search) actions or other procedural actions, the recording is carried out by available technical means with the subsequent drawing up of a corresponding protocol no later than seventy-two hours after the completion of such investigative (search) actions or relevant procedural actions (Article 615 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine).
- Information on the appointment of an investigator, inquirer (authorized person of another unit), procedural manager, admission to proceedings (upon actual receipt of criminal proceedings materials) is urgent.
The day after the lawyers sent the complaint to the court, suddenly, without waiting for its consideration, the police opened criminal proceedings under part 1 of article 125 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine — intentional slight bodily harm.
- It is worth noting that the possible punishment under this article is a fine of up to fifty tax-free minimum incomes of citizens or community service for a period of up to two hundred hours, or correctional work for a period of up to one year. In case of reclassification of actions, the punishment may be increased. Therefore, it is still too early to say that the matter has been resolved. However, after publicity on social networks, the case acquired a high-profile status, and a person who is currently a danger was detained and sent to a special medical facility, at least for the duration of the pre-trial investigation, says Inna Kolesnyk.
The lawyer also emphasizes that it was thanks to Oksana’s bravery and her willingness to openly talk about the attack that the case became public. Lawyers of the NGO “Triangle” and the “Vulyk Zmistiv” (Beehive of Meanings)** social initiative are monitoring this case and promise that they will demand a fair punishment.
* Name has been changed for ethical reasons.
**The social initiative “Vulyk Zmistiv” (Beehive of Meanings) is being implemented with the support of the Legal Development Network in three communities of Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, and Vinnytsia oblasts. All of them help IDPs to find a new home or at least a temporary shelter, solve urgent housing needs, and adapt and socialize in a new community.
The material was created with the support of the international charity platform GlobalGiving and the Legal Empowerment Fund (Fund for Global Human Rights program) and the Legal Development Network. The content of the publication is solely the responsibility of the Legal Development Network and does not necessarily reflect the views of the previously mentioned organizations.
The main photo for the article: irf.ua
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