European Council on Odessa: Kiev can’t be believed; authorities are to blame

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November 5, 2015 –

Novorossiya – 

Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski

The international consulting group on Ukraine which has analyzed the investigation of events in May, 2014 produced by Ukrainian authorities has concluded that Kiev’s report cannot be considered independent, and evidence indicates that Ukrainian police were involved in the events in Odessa. 

Even European specialists already recognize that the perpetrators of the tragedy have not been found. “Although this in part can be explained by objective difficulties, the council believes that the shortcomings identified in the report undermined the ability of authorities to establish the circumstances of the crimes connected with Odessa and prosecute those accordingly at fault,” the commission noted in its report.

“Given the evidence which points to the involvement of police officers in the riots of May 2, 2014 in Odessa…a body fully independent from the police is required in order to carry out an investigation of the riots as a whole. It is also certain that, given the structural links between state emergency services and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the investigation of the fire department service’s actions cannot be considered independent,” the head of the consultation group, Nicholas Bratza, said. 

RusVesna – 

The report by experts of the Council of Europe on the process of investigating the tragedy at the Odessa Trade Union House was a “resounding slap” of the [Ukrainian] authorities, Deutsche Welle reports.

“The conclusion of the experts of the International Consultation Group is clear: the Ukrainian authorities have completely failed to clarify the circumstances of the fatal shooting and fire at the House of Trade Unions,” Deutsche Welle comments.

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As noted in German media, the experts of the Council of Europe have described in a “dry legal language” how “far from the rule of law and European values Ukraine is.” Deutsche Welle especially seriously called attention to accusations of bias, which are obviously addressed not only at Odessa officials, but also ministers in Kiev.

“Ukrainian politicians and the General Prosecutor should answer the question: why has the investigation of the fire in Odessa not only been delayed, but practically sabotaged,” German media emphasized.

The journal Der Spiegel called the criticism from the Council of Europe “devastating” and noted that the report of about 90 pages is a “chronicle of infractions of the [Ukrainian] authorities.”

“Since May 2, 2014, Odessa has been associated not with tolerance, but with unobstructed violence, and the authorities have done nothing to protect victims,” the publication writes.”

Bloomberg notes that the report of the Council of Europe is “the latest blow to President Petro Poroshenko and his government.”

“The US, EU, and citizens of Ukraine itself e a larger process and promised reforms in fighting corruption. The rulers of Ukraine have also failed to condemn the perpetrators of more than one hundred murders during the street protests in Kiev, as a result of which they came to power a year and a half ago,” Bloomberg writes.

The report of the consultation group of the Council of Europe on th investigation by Ukrainian authorities of the events in Odessa on May 2, 2014 was presented in Kiev on Wednesday.

Experts stated that the investigation was not consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. Additionally, the panel of experts reported on evidence of the complicity of police officers in the tragedy.

The authors of the report have come to the conclusion that no significant progress has been achieved, that there was no independent investigation of the tragedy in Odessa in 2014, and that information on the progress of the investigation of the tragedy in Odessa has come out unevenly.” 

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