Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A vindictive form of justice

The lack of an independent judiciary in Ukraine prevents it from becoming part of the civilized world, undermines the principles of Ukraine’s Constitution, and the most basic rights and freedoms which it is supposed to guarantee. The lawlessness of the current regime is nothing more than a vendetta against those who were trying to bring some law and order to what is still a fledgling and now very fragile democracy.

In the spring of 2007 Ukraine together with Poland were awarded to host the Euro-2012 Football Championships, which seemed like a great victory at the time; however, anyone who has been following things since then understands very well that things are far from as smooth as “officials” are making them out to be.

European sources have stated that the reconstruction of the “Olympic” stadium in Kyiv is probably one of the most expensive construction projects in Europe at the given time. On more than one occasion workers on the Lviv Stadium, have gone without receiving their pay. In fact, in one case the company KomfortBud was restructured and renamed and workers not paid four months of salaries, which to this day they still have not received. Just one of the ways of a few pocketing money for themselves. Not to mention the clearly falsified tender for the building of the new L’viv stadium has probably cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

It is no secret that Deputy Prime Minister Borys Kolesnikov who is responsible for infrastructure projects was somehow tied into matters of the reconstruction of the Olympic Stadium, and clearly in conflict of interest. While he conveniently extricated himself from the company involved, it would be naïve for anyone to think he is still not personally benefiting from that business project.

When Yuri Lutsenko was the country’s “top cop”, Kolesnikov, who had openly called for the separation of the Donbas from Ukraine, as well as former Kharkiv Governor, Yevhen Kushnaryov, had been detained during ongoing investigations; Kushnaryov was the only non-Donetsk politician who also held high office in the Party of Regions, and died on January 17, 2007 under suspect conditions in a hunting accident. Some analysts have openly stated that Kushnaryov was an expendable body in the Party of Regions. In addition under the instigation of Lutsenko investigations were carried out on many Donetsk-based businesses and politicians, including Rinat Akhmetov’s SCM.

In Lviv the administration is also not as squeaky clean as its Mayor Andriy Sadovy so often likes to portray to the media and the city’s citizens.

In June of 2010, a criminal case was opened against Deputy Mayor of Lviv, Oleh Synyutka, who is responsible for infrastructure development in the city, for the inappropriate use of the municipal budget to the tune of UAH 8,681,617, just over one million USD. In comparison the arrest of Lutsenko and charges brought against him are sadly comical; like a beach bully kicking sand in the faces of those he disrespects.

The numbers speak for themselves and with Donetsk interests continuously growing in Lviv, due to the bedfellows that the city’s leadership keeps, the most corrupt will go unpunished. Lutsenko if not released for treatment could die, and Tymoshenko will be meted out a sentence, by a politically appointed “judge”, decided long before proceedings were started against her.

How the regime must be rejoicing that they have nearly achieved victory in silencing their two strongest opponents, who once insulted, and investigated their questionable behavior and have a great deal of dirt on them all for certain. In their world, vengeance has always been more important than justice. In their world there are no civilized rules.

Vasyl Pawlowsky
Independent Consultant

This opinion was published earlier on Ukraine Business Online.

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