Full text of the speech by Viktor Medvedchuk, the Chairman of Political Council of Opposition Platform - For Life party during the session of Kyiv Court of Appeal on July 30, 2021.
Your Honor, respected court members! I am well aware and realize that the current judicial proceeding is focused on the restrictive measure and its extension, which is in line with the decision of teh investigating judge of Pechersk district. But the restrictive measure is directly related to the particular articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which foresee responsibility for grave crimes - I mean, the grave crimes that they charge me with. So, the demand of criminal procedure law in terms of reasons for the accusation are direct and mandatory for execution by investigating authorities, prosecution and judges. I believe that the investigating judge of Pechersk district allowed neglection of the arguments of the defense team, which made the basics of the decision of possible extension of the restriction measure. Besides, as a man who understands a thing or two about the matters of law, I can say that the loud references to these articles of the Criminal Code are nothing but something null and void in terms of arguments that would confirm and underline the validity of accusation. Additionally, it directly affects the elements of crime that they charge me with, and the feasibility of evidence according to the norms of Constitution and the current criminal procedure law. The criminal case against me and my colleague, MP Taras Kozak was started on March 11. I am quite sure that in the course of almost five months, investigation and prosecution authorities did not provide any due permissible proof of confirmation of grounds for accusations and making the decision to choose the restriction measure. Moreover, the lawyers who provide protection for me have collected a number of arguments and grounds that completely reject the accusations I'm facing.
Respected court members, Your Honor, I would like to focus on certain arguments, which, in my view, confirm the infeasibility of the collected evidence. Besides, as a citizen who, I believe, is groundlessly considered a suspect, I do not need to prove my innocence; but still, I will give the arguments that, in my opinion, have substantial meaning for this case, including for the matter that is not the subject at hand.
All the evidence that is put in the framework of validity of accusation and cited in the motion about the restriction measure consists of two groups. The first group is protocols that contain the data of classified operative, technical and investigative actions, as well as four conclusions of the expertise.
Let's focus on the records for now. There's a protocol from April 9, 2021 complied from the materials provided by the Department of Domestic Intelligence of the Security Service of Ukraine on the so-called phone conversations and their recordings that were made in 2014-2016. These materials and conversations involved in that protocol bring up a number of questions, and the case materials don't have any answers to these. First, where were these records for the last six years, if these actually were made by the Department of Domestic Intelligence of the Security Service of Ukraine, as they acted within their counterintelligence operations? Second, if these conversations were or are currently considered to be breaching the Criminal Code, then why during the last six years, there was no proper legal evaluation of these conversations and the information that appeared in these so-called phone calls?
There are no answers to these questions in case materials and the accusation materials. Besides, the protocol dated by April 9, which discloses the data about these conversations was complied by the investigators of the Security Service of Ukraine. That is, the protocol is complied by the unauthorized individuals and unauthorized body, since this particular protocol was composed in the framworks of the criminal case under registration number ending with 605. The case under this number was unified from the case No.72 only on April 26, 2021. That is, from the beginning of the criminal proceeding, from March 11 till April 26, the investigation activities, namely the protocol and its contents were ran by unauthorized individuals and unauthorized body, which is directly forbidden by Part 4 of Article 216 of Ukraine's Criminal Procedure Code. It is also banned by Part 6 of Article 36, which says that the investigation against Ukrainian MPs can be only conducted by the authorities of the State Bureau of Investigations and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. No other investigation authorites are allowed to do so.
In a rude breach of this requirement of the Security Service of Ukraine, its investigators observed the respective circumstances in the protocol from April 9. Meanwhile, according to Part 3. Article 214 of Criminal Procedure Code of our country, the cover investigative actions can be conducted in the frameworks of a criminal case only after this case is registered in the Unified Register of State-induced Investigations. That is, the groundwork of the criminal case can include only the results of covert investigative actions that were appointed after March 11, 2021, and not these made in 2014-2016, the way we see it in the protocol. It leads us to conclusion that the protocol from April 9 is an unacceptable evidence according to the incumbent criminal procedure law.
The protocol from March 14, 2021 was complied on the results of covert technical capture of information from the Telegram channels. The protocol was composed by the mentioned SBU investigators during the criminal proceeeding, with the registration number ending with 455 (March 1, 2021). Moreover, the said protocol and the technical capture of information was based on the decision of investigating judge of Kyiv Court of Appeal dated with March 11, 2012, as it is pointed out in the protocol from March 14. Apart from the fact that it was conducted by the unauthorized individuals and unauthorized body, which breaches the norms of Criminal Procedure Code, one should notice that this information eventually was received in the result of a criminal investigation with the registration number ending with 455. What kind of criminal proceeding is that? Unknown. Where is it? Unknown. It does not concern the case that is the basic one, and it's a subject to be considered in today's court session under the registration number ending with 72. Regarding all these arguments, I believe that the protocol from March 14, and the information it it are unacceptable proof in the view of the requirements of criminal procedure law.
These two protocols and information that they contain became the basis for conducting four rounds of expertise. This information, which was obtained and recorded according to the requirements of Criminal Procedure Code as the unacceptable evidence, became the basis and then the subject of expert study. And it's the second group of evidence, the expert conslusions.
I insist that the expertise rounds and the conclusions are unreliable and unacceptable proof due to the following arguments. Firstly, all these rounds of expertise were assigned by the SBU, since the conclusions of this expertise rounds were received on April 12, 13, 14 and 29. During that period, the investigation in the case against myself and my colleague Taras Kozak in the open case from March 11 was conducted by the SBU investigators, which they had no right for, as they are unauthorized individuals representing the unauthorized body. The case, the number of which ends with 605 was passed and unified with the other case (the number of which ends with 72) only on April 26, 2021.
Secondly, all four rounds of expertise were conducted with a rude breach of Article 4 of the Law on Court Expertise, as well as Part 2 of Article 69 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. According to Article 4 of the Law on Court Expertise, there are guarantees of independence of experts. The experts cannot be the individuals who are subordinated or are otherwise involved with the bodies that conduct investigative operative actions or act within the pre-trial investigation. It is directly mentioned in Article 4 of the Law on Court Expertise.
In spite of that, the rounds of expertise were assigned in the expert institution, which is part of the system of the Security Service of Ukraine. Moreover, the expertise rounds were held by experts, four of which are SBU employees - so they are completely involved invidivuals. Eventually, it does not look unbiased; it abbsolutely does not meet the requirements of the law, where the SBU investigators act illegallly. The SBU has no authority to investigate, and yet it does. SBU investigators appoint the expertise of circumstances, which may be unacceptable - just like protocols, which became the basis for this expertise, and the presented information is unacceptable from the legal point of view. At that, they get the results, which make the basis of suspicion and the basis of motion on the extension of the restriction measure.
Now, to the expertise. There were four rounds of expertise - audio record expertise, handwriting analysis and two rounds of linguistic expertise. The first expertise of audio records was conducted based on the April 9 protocol; the three others were performed based on the one from March 14. It remains unknown what particular criminal case they are attached to, and it is unknown how these resultes were obtained, and how they were added to the case No.72.
As for the conducted expertise of the audio tapes. I want put a special emphasis and turned your attention, respected court members, your Honor, that the expertise was conducted with the copies of phone conversations; the protocol points out to the disk where these talks were downloaded to. Moreover, I'd like to underline again that the expertise is a breach of Part 3 of Article 214 of the Criminal Procedure Code, where they directly point our that it can't be the subject of investigation or considered the evidence in the criminal case - unless these covert operative investigative actions occurred after the case was opened, that is, later than March 11. The original records of these conversations are not released; there is no recording device, and under these circumstances, the expertise is nothing but an unacceptable proof in terms of requirements of the law.
Handwriting expertise. The one that was performed after the data was captured from the Telegram channel. They own copies of handwritten texts. According to the instruction of Ukraine's Justice Ministry dating back to 1998, the lawyers who represent my defense team received the reply, which says that the methods and recommendations for conducting the handwriting expertise with the use of handwritten text can be only performed with the original records. No other way. Besides, lawyers who provide my protection turned to seven expert institutions that are famous in Ukraine; they replied that there is no method, which lets the investigation team conduct the handwriting expertise with the copies of the handwritten text. What does this mean? It means that the arguments that the SBU investigation team, the authority and the expert organization of the SBU received was completely falsified and, thus, is unacceptable in terms of the law's requirements.
Judicial and linguistic rounds of expertise concern the materials, copies of which were received from the Telegram channel. In response to a request from lawyers dated June 8, 2021, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine said that technical examinations regarding documents can be carried out only on the submitted originals of these documents, and not copies. At the disposal of the investigation, in the materials of the case and in the materials of suspicion, there are only copies of such documents, it is not known whether they were at all, in fact, and, moreover, it is not known where the originals were, if any. Therefore, this answer says that an examination, where the object of an expert study is documents, can be carried out only on the basis of original documents, there are no other methods for carrying out technical examinations and documents based on copies.
In this context, I'd like to add that three examinations and conclusions, which were carried out illegally by unauthorized persons, were carried out on the basis of information obtained by removing this information from the channels of the Telegram resource. The lawyers who defend me presented evidence and expert conclusions in court that it is possible to capture, as well as interference in the SMS correspondence by third parties - such a technical possibility exists. This, in addition to the fact that all this was obtained by illegal means, and, moreover, there are such possibilities of interference in such correspondence in the resource of Telegram channels. That's apart from the fact that this data was recovered illegally, and what's more, there are such opportunities of interference in such conversations in Telegram channels. So, if we speak about the grounds of accusation and the data that they presented in the motion about the extension of restriction measrure are merely unacceptable pieces of proof.
Dear Court, Your Honor, there is another episode that is unique from all points of view, and it is also hidden behind a loud accusation, which is high treason. This is supposedly the transfer of state secrets by me to my colleague and further along the circle of unidentified circumstances and unidentified events. Well, this episode is something far beyond the case materials that are on your desk, I am not sure what it is about at all. So it remains unclear how I got this secret information, whioch I have no access to; it's unclear how, when and where I passed it; it is unclear what could slightly suggest, let alone confirm that I have anthing to do with this. It's even unclear whether it actually took place, because after five months now, we know nothing about it. And requests from lawyers to familiarize themselves with this have failed to date. That reminds me of this famous phrase, if I may: "Burn before reading". It looks exactly like this to me. It has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal case, with the evidence, with argumentation, with provability and acceptability.
Dear Court, Your Honor, I would like to draw your attention to two circumstances regarding the application for an extension of the preventive measure. I am sure that the defense team, the lawyers will do it in more detail, in a more reasoned and competent way. I turn your attention to the handling of the motion about the extension of the restriction measure. You know, I have serverd as the MP in four convocations. I am well aware of what legislative activity is, I have the relevant experience and am familiar with both the methodology of normative formation and the legal technique of presenting legislative acts. And I want to say, unfortunately, there are objective complaints that certain legislative acts and laws are written in such a way that they give grounds for a double interpretation of certain norms. But if I may, dear court, Your Honor, how can the norm be interpreted in two ways? Part 1 of Article 199 of the Criminal Procedure Code: "Not later than 10 days before the expiration of the order on the preliminary selection of a preventive measure". In usual conditions it's not later than five days, because ten days are a reference to the quarantine, which is due to the anti-coronavirus activities. But I did not receive the application for an extension of a preventive measure - not five, not ten days after that. How can one interpret that in two days? I don't know. I guess those who developed that motion know the answer to that question. It was approved by Prosecutor General of Ukraine, and the court that made this decision, the unreasoned decision, I believe - I mean, it was the investigating judge of Pechersk district.
Moreover, I believe that this is a gross violation of my constitutional right to defense. The basic law guarantees me the right to protection, and it must be respected in all aspects. In this case, the norm providing for me to deliver it exactly at such a time, in so many days, is an obligation for the investigating authorities, for the prosecutor's office and a guarantee of the observance of the constitutional right to defense. The second circumstance is related to the fact that we mentioned during today's session; that's the "twe months" thing mentioned in the motion. You know, many things can be said. But as for the "up to two months" and "for two months exactly", these are detailed in the instructions of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on the consideration of court cases. Moreover, the two expert opinions, which you, dear court, have attached to the case file today, and therefore will be the subject of consideration of this court session, testify that "before" is by no means until September 7, but only until July 13. "Up to" is very difficult to interpret as exactly two months. But that's what the motion says: up to two months exclusively. Besides, I believe that the court, and the investigating judge went beyond the motion, to which he had no right; that petition was approved by the attorney general. But it was the petition, if they had something else in mind, that the investigating judge guessed otherwise, and set out in his decision, which is being contested today. This, I believe, is an open contempt of court on the part of the Prosecutor's Office. I insist, such a presentation of the material in a petition in a case where there are 49 investigators and 16 procedural leaders, instead of delivery of the text of the operative part verbatim in accordance with the law, in a clear and specific manner - this is a demonstration of contempt of court. I am sure it is just like that. And this circumstance also tells us that the decision of the judge of Pechersk district about the extension of the restriction measure should be canceled.
One more thing, dear court, Your Honor. The arguments that I voiced out are clearly showing that the Security Service of Ukraine definitely had to do with this case - by all means, illegally and criminally. They illegally performed investigative actions; they provided arguments and pieces of evidence that they considered appropriate - in the breach of norms of the Criminal Procedure Code, the norms of Constitution, which I cited. And that means only one thing: the Security Service of Ukraine that ran the investigation since the moment of registration, from March 11 till April 26, falsified this case. It tampered with the case materials, which were added to the suspicion materials 14 days after that. Back in 2019, the Security Service of Ukraine was charged by President Zelensky and his team to launch illegal and criminal activity against the MPs of the faction [Opposition Platform - For Life]. The media reported and still report that all mechanisms of illegal actions were employed by the SBU - in order to complete the tasks that came from the president of Ukraine. The Security Service of Ukraine enjoyed the support of Prosecutor General's Office; it did everything so that the falsified case materials and unacceptable proof were considered in the first instance court and during this actual court session in the Kyiv Court of Appeal.
I believe that the criminal activity of the SBU, which was aimed at falsifying these materials is nothing but a criminal prosecution of the opposition and political repression. This is how I perceive everything that is happening today.