10 Aug 2018 21:46

'Kernes case' should be re-opened - Ukrainian prosecutor general

KYIV. Aug 10 (Interfax) - Judge Andriy Antonov of Poltava's Kyivsky District Court, who had dismissed the case against Kharkiv Mayor Hennadiy Kernes and his guards Vitaliy Blynnyk and Yevhen Smytskyi, made a deliberately unlawful decision and would be held accountable, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said.

"The judge, who had rendered a decision to dismiss the case in violation of all legal provisions, will be held accountable for his deliberately unlawful decision," Lutsenko said on his Facebook account on Friday evening.

He also said he is convinced that "the Kernes case should undoubtedly be returned for consideration in order to hand down an impartial judgment."

As reported, on January 25, 2014, unidentified people attacked participants in the procession in support of Euromaidan in Kharkiv. On the same day, Kharkiv regional councilor Ivan Varchenko of the Batkivshchyna party reported that two Euromaidan activists, Oleksandr Kutianin and Serhiy Riapolov, were kidnapped "after they had removed number plates from the cars of the friends of Kernes'" outside Hotel National.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry's branch for the Kharkiv region said later that the kidnapping report was not confirmed.

On March 2, 2015, Kernes was notified of his suspect status in the case of imprisonment or abduction, torture, and death threats, and of the completion of the preliminary inquiry.

On March 26, 2015, the Prosecutor General's Office forwarded to the court the indictment in the criminal case against Kernes and two of his bodyguards. On April 2, 2015, the Superior Specialized Court of Ukraine ordered the case to be moved from Kharkiv's Dzerzhinsky district court to the Kyivsky district court in Poltava.

On August 10, Judge Andriy Antonov of Poltava's Kyivsky District Court qualified the prosecutors' systemic failure to appear at debates in the case of the Kharkiv Mayor Hennadiy Kernes and his bodyguards Vitaliy Blynnyk and Yevhen Smytskyi as a waiver of prosecution and closed the criminal case.