First sentence for treason in Crimea. Who is Vasyl Hanysh and how he betrayed Ukraine?

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

The first sentence for high treason was announced in Crimea: the court convicted the ex-deputy of the local parliament Vasyl Hanysh and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. However, the defendant claims that he did not betray his homeland
20:47, 21 November 2018


112 Agency

'It’s time to pay for everything,' Yuriy Lutsenko, the prosecutor-general of Ukraine, said and hurried to inform about the next victory of the department under his control.

Earlier the court recognized the former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea Vasyl Hanysh guilty of high treason and sentenced him to 12 years in prison without confiscation of property.

This decision was the first sentence for treason in the occupied Crimea since the annexation of peninsula took place in spring 2014.

Who and how convicted Hanysh

The trial of the ex-deputy Vasyl Hanysh lasted more than three years. His case, starting in August 2015, was considered by the judges of the Dniprovsky district court of Kyiv, and finally on November 19, the court announced its final decision.

Hanysh was found guilty of high treason on two of three episodes and sentenced to 12 years in prison without confiscation of property.

As the head of the panel of judges Oksana Birsa noted, his guilt was proved during the investigation: the ex-deputy participated in the voting for the Russian Constitution of Crimea and participated in the Russian elections to the city council of Theodosia, thereby contributing to the subversive activities of Russia in Ukraine and committing treason.

In addition, Hanysh also has to pay legal fees in the amount of UAH 5400 (USD 193).

However, the relevant sentence has not yet entered into force. This will happen only after the consideration of the appeal, which the defense of the ex-deputy promised to file immediately. Until then, Hanysh will remain under house arrest, as he was before.

What Hanysh was accused of?

Initially, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Prosecutor’s Office supported the state prosecution in criminal proceedings opened against the former deputy of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Vasyl  Hanysh on suspicion of treason on three episodes.

Episode 1. Referendum

The first in the list of ex-deputy atrocities was his participation in the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on March 6, 2014, at which, as you know, the decision was held to hold a referendum on the annexation of the peninsula to the territory of the Russian Federation.

As noted by "Krym.Realii", in court Hanysh confirmed that he was present at the said meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, but was the only deputy who voted against that decision.

Indeed, the vote of March 6, 2014 passed with the result: 78 voted for the annexation, 1 voted against, this is confirmed by the video from the session hall.

Despite this, the prosecutors initially insisted that the ex-deputy still committed a crime, allegedly created a quorum by participating in the meeting, but then, in November 2016, completely dropped the charges on this episode.

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Episode 2. The Constitution

The second act of Hanysh, which the prosecutors regarded as treason against Ukraine, was the vote for the Constitution of Crimea, according to which the peninsula is recognized as part of the Russian Federation.

The fact that the ex-deputy was present at the relevant meeting of the peninsula’s parliament is indisputable. It was recorded by the cameras of local television stations that broadcasted the event.

And the ex-deputy himself does not deny this, but claims that he did not participate in the voting for the document, instead he allegedly came to the parliament building to meet with the minister of social policy and discuss with him the question of paying him a pension.

Nevertheless the Dniprovsky court came to the conclusion that Hanysh was in the session hall that day to give his vote for the Constitution, in which Crimea is recognized as part of Russia, and thus committed treason.

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Episode 3: Elections

The third in the list of ex-deputy atrocities was the nomination of his candidacy in the Russian elections to the city council of Feodosia, which also took place in 2014.

This fact is confirmed by a lot of documentary evidence and media reports. According to the results of the elections, Hanysh gained only 63 votes and took the penultimate place.

But, according to the ex-deputy, then the victory was not needed: he was allegedly asked to nominate the leader of the Feodosian Mejlis in order to delay the defeat the candidate from the Communist Party of Russia.

At the same time, in court, Hanysh’s defense insisted that the Geneva Convention and the European Charter of Local Self-Government guarantee the right to run for elections to the local self-government body, even if the voting takes place in the occupied territory.

However, the court considered that participating in the elections, ex-deputy committed an offense. According to the verdict, the elections in which he participated were illegal, and by his actions he “legitimized the occupying power in the eyes of voters”.

The reaction to the Hanysh’s sentence

The sentence imposed as a result of the district court session, fully satisfied the prosecutor's office. “This is the first sentence on almost 100 indictments that we sent to the court against former Crimean deputies who are accused of treason. The court provided an assessment of our work on documenting and proving the crimes of the former deputy who contributed to the attempt to annex the peninsula”, commented on the decision of the court Crimean prosecutor Gunduz Mamedov.

In turn, the chief prosecutor of Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, added that those guilty of high treason sooner or later will get what they deserve.

But the defense of the former deputy of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Vasyl Hanysh was disappointed with the work of Ukrainian justice.

According to lawyer Andriy Rudenko, the court did not take into account the main thing - that his client was the only deputy who voted against the referendum on the status of Crimea.

Hanysh himself announced that he would seek his justification in the higher courts. “I don’t consider myself a traitor. For me, this humiliation is concrete. I did not commit any crime. I was, am and will be Ukrainian. I’ll fight for my freedom. Time will tell. Together with a defender we will appeal, and there will be a cassation and European court. I will fight till the end ", said the ex-deputy.

In his opinion, the judges pronounced the verdict under pressure from the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, and the decision on his case was a “show-off”, because the prosecutors needed the first detained Crimean deputy to be “punished”.

Accordingly, the Ukrainian society was divided into two camps: some consider Hanysh a separatist, others believe in his pro-Ukrainian attitude.

Vasyl Hanysh, former member of the Crimean Parliament, who was sentenced to 12 years behind bars for state treason on November 19, 2018

What else is known about Hanysh

Vasyl Hanysh was born on August 18, 1957 in the Kolomyya district of Ivano-Frankivsk region. An economist by education, in 1988 he graduated from the Ivano-Frankivsk Institute of Oil and Gas.

Later he came to Feodosia, began his labor activity as an economist at the relevant department of the deep-drilling oil and gas exploration expedition, and after almost ten years reached the post of its head.

In 1997, he was appointed Head of the State Tax Inspectorate in the city of Feodosia and concurrently held the position of Minister in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Council of Ministers (until 2006).

In 2007, he headed the Department of State Ecological Expertise and State Environmental Control of the State Azov-Black Sea Environmental Inspectorate. A year later, he went into politics - was twice elected as a deputy of the Feodosia City Council, was a deputy local mayor.

In 2010, being a member of the Party of Regions, he was among the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, but he was not a prominent politician.

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It should be noted that during the period when the Russian Federation began to seize the peninsula, Hanysh did not make public statements either in favor or against the actions of the Kremlin. In his address to the residents of Feodosia on March 4, 2014, he, as vice-mayor, called on citizens to “refrain from emotional speeches” and even accused representatives of the pro-Russian Cossacks of manifesting chauvinism.

Therefore, when in April 2015, Hanysh was detained on the border of the peninsula with mainland Ukraine, many Crimean citizens were surprised.

“He is Ukrainian, he tried to speak Ukrainian when it was possible. When the tragic events began (illegal annexation of the peninsula, - ed.), he found himself in a difficult situation because many people perceived him as a Banderite. In February and early March, there were rumors that the Russians had detained him as an enemy, " local activists noted at the time.

We recall, the Security Service of Ukraine announced Hanysh on a wanted list on suspicion of high treason in March 2015, along with dozens of other deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, who in 2014 took part in the so-called “referendum”.

In April of the same year, he tried to cross the border of the peninsula with mainland Ukraine at the Kalanchak checkpoint to visit his mother in Kalush, Ivano-Frankivsk region, and was detained by Ukrainian border guards.

After that, Hanysh was arrested by the Pechersk district court of Kyiv. In January 2016, he was under house arrest. He still lives in the city of Bila Tserkva near Kyiv.

In the three years of the trial there were at least two interesting turns in the Hanysh case.

In July 2016, the Security Service of Ukraine arrested prosecutors Vadym Bukrey and Serhiy Halzev, who represented the prosecution at the trial.

The ministry claimed that they extorted $ 45,000 in bribes for changing the article imputed to him for less serious. However, later both prosecutors were released on bail, and a year later the case against them was closed due to lack of evidence.

In February 2017, the head of the panel of judges Olexander Fedyuk was dismissed, and the process began from scratch with a new composition of judges.

Vasyl Hanysh is married and has two adult sons.

What to expect from the case of Hanysh

The defense of the former Crimean parliament member Vasyl Hanysh has exactly 30 days to file an appeal against the decision of the Dniprovsky district court of Kyiv dated November 19, 2018.

If it is filed, the first meeting of the Court of Appeal may take place as early as January next year. This means that the case will be considered again, Hanysh will be under house arrest, and his sentence will remain without execution for an indefinite period of time.

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