: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Rada makes special amendments to allow trial in absentia


The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has approved amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code to be effective until April 1, 2017, which change significantly a procedure for special pre-trial investigation.
Relevant bill No. 4645 cancels the requirement to include suspects in the international wanted list as a prerequisite for initiating trial in absentia. Thus, MPs have in fact allowed the transfer to court of criminal cases regarding former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and other top officials that are not on Interpol wanted list.
It is reported that special pre-trial investigation can be applied in respect of those who have been evading justice and are on international and inter-state wanted lists, as well as those who have been hiding from the authorities for more than six months and have remained outside of Ukraine, in the temporarily occupied territory of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone, and are not on the international wanted list.
This procedure can be applied during investigation of a number of criminal cases, including those dealing with crime against national security, as well as murders, thefts, money laundering, bribery, etc.
An investigator`s petition regarding consideration of the case in absentia must prove that a suspect is outside Ukraine or in the occupied territories, or the ATO zone. In case it the judge rejects the appeal, its resubmission is only allowed given new evidence is provided.

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