What is Savchenko's law? Questions and answers
The initiators of the document took the unprecedented decision because at that time Savchenko was on hunger strike in a Russian prison
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When was the "Savchenko’s law" adopted?
The draft law "On Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine on improvement of the procedure of considering pretrial detention as a detention sentence," or so-called “Savchenko’s law” was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on November 5, 2015. The authors were Savchenko, people's representatives from the "Batkivshchyna" party Andriy Kozhemyakin and Ivan Krulko, Mykola Palamarchuk from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, Leonid Yemets from the "People’s front," and unaffiliated Oleg Osuhovskyy. November 26 the parliament supported the law, December 22 it was signed by President Poroshenko, and on December 24 the law came into force.
What does the law mean?
The law is amending part 5, Art. 72 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The Court counts the pretrial detention as a part of detention sentence.
Pretrial detention includes:
1) detention without ruling investigating judge of the court;
2) the detention on the basis of the decision for leave to detention, made by investigating judge of the court;
3) custody as a preventive measure, taken by judge of the court for pre-trial investigation or at the trial of the criminal proceedings;
4) being in an inpatient medical facility during forensic medical or forensic psychiatric examination;
5) being in the institutions of detention for the investigation or participation in the proceedings of the criminal case.
Under the law, the court shall release the convict from punishment if the term of detention in prison equals or exceeds the main sentence.
The law is applicable for all people, whose conviction came into force on the effective date of this law, the penalty for which is not completely served.
This law was supported by 255 MPs.
Who was released after the "Savchenko’s law"?
70 thousand people are now kept in Ukrainian prisons. According to the National Police, almost 9 thousand prisoners were released after Savchenko’s law. Another 34 thousand people to be released this year.
According to the Interior Ministry, 785 people were re-arrested for committing a crime. Of these, 22 - for murder, 18 - for causing grievous bodily harm, 10 – for rape, 405 – for theft, 131 – for robbery, 66 – for armed robbery, 39 – for fraud, 20 – for hooliganism and other crimes.
Savchenko’s law let a lot of odious people free. In January 2016, the former head of the Lviv Appeal Administrative Court Igor Zvarych was released from prison, in 2011 he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with confiscation of property. In April, a former Member of Parliament Victor Lozinskyi convicted for the murder of a resident of Kirovograd region Valery Oliynyk. In June, Andriy Slyusarchuk known as "Dr. Pi", was released from custody.
How to propose to change the law?
First, this law was much criticized. Prosecutor General told to make a differentiation of those who are subjected to the law Savchenko. Ministry of Justice believe that the law should be changed for the perpetrators of violent crimes, murder, rape, grievous bodily harm.
Interior Minister Avakov said the day before that "Savchenko’s law" shall not be applied to repeat offenders, but now he stands for its total abolition.
Advisor to Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko believes that the "Savchenko’s law" was a mistake and populism.
Former head of State Penitentiary ServiceSerhiy Starenky said that, in his opinion, "Savchenko’s law" does not correspond to those tasks that were raised: "This law will not unload remands. So less people would sit not in a jail, but in the colonies. It is unclear to which court they should apply. We can see the ambiguity of implementation of the law."
What does Savchenko say?
Savchenko says she will defend her law, because it is correct.
"There are statistics, analytics, I will publish them on the Internet. In resent years, when this law was not adopted, even more criminals came out of the jails. Why do they pay so much attention to the law of Savchenko? Because the standard of living has fallen, and that is the problem of the government... I will defend this law because it as an axiom, it is perfectly correct, it is created to protect people," said Savchenko.
One of the authors of the law Andriy Kozhemyakin recently acknowledged that the law has bad consequences today. According to him, the initiators of the document took the unprecedented decision because at that time Savchenko was on hunger strike in a Russian prison.
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