A lawyer has succeeded in proving the obvious violations and falsification of evidence by police
Lawyer Oleksandr Byshkov from the Ukrainian Legal Aid Network has succeeded in proving the obvious violations and falsification of evidence by police and obtaining a landmark decision – the closure of criminal proceedings against an accused under article 307 of the Criminal Code (illegal production, purchase, possession, storage, transport, or sale of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances or their analogues). The Ukrainian Legal Aid Network is being supported by the Public Health Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation.
The victory followed a three-year battle with the system. Oleksandr Byshkov’s client is a drug addict and the police used this against him. During the trial the lawyer proved that the defendant’s accomplice, who convinced him to make the drug, and the witnesses, who weren’t even at the scene of the crime, were really “on the hook” and were carrying out the orders of the police. In view of this, the court sent the case back for further investigation. Given that the investigators failed to correct that violations identified by the court, the criminal proceedings were closed.
Hennadiy Tokarev, an expert of the Ukrainian Legal Aid Network, notes that statistics provided by drug enforcement are based exclusively on the detention of drug users, and that similar falsification and violations by the police happen in almost every case involving drugs. In the three years the Network has been operating, lawyers succeeded in getting only three criminal cases thrown out. Every year, more than 15,000 people end up in jail on drug possession charges after drugs are planted on them.
The lawyers working with the Network have sent an open letter to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko urging him to propose changes to order №188 of the Ministry of Health to increase the quantity of drugs one is allowed to possess before facing criminal liability. This will free drug users from persecution and force the police to arrest drug dealers, rather than falsify criminal cases.
Ukrainian Legal Aid Network
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