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As many as 200 judges may face arrest in Ukraine

Ukraine’s law-enforcers are preparing documents to strip of immunity as many as 200 judges who passed verdicts on the Maidan activists, Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko said in an interview with one of the Ukrainian TV channels.

“Around 100-200 judges who dealt with the Revolution of Dignity and influenced many other criminal offences…as far as I know, documents are being prepared (against them) to strip them of immunity and bring responsible,” Petrenko said.

As EAD reported earlier, the Supreme Rada of Ukraine has approved the arrest of Sergey Vovk, Oksana Tsarevich, and Viktor Kitsyuk – the judges of the Pechersky Court of Kiev - who prosecuted high-profile cases under ex-president Viktor Yanukovich. Friday, on March 6, the Kiev and Vinnitsa courts will chose a measure of restraint against the three judges.

To recap, large-scale protests called “EuroMaidan” started in the Independence Square in November 2013 after the Ukraine leadership suspended the process of European integration. In January and February 2014, the protests grew into armed conflicts of radicals and militia, claiming the lives of hundreds. After the state coup in February 2014, the new authorities launched persecution of militia officers who restrained radicals. A new Lustration Law came into effect in Ukraine on October 16. The law looks to dismiss the officials who occupied leading positions under Viktor Yanukovich (at the same time, the officials who are currently working on elective posts cannot be dismissed). For the time being, Alexander Yevfremov, the former head of the Party of Regions faction in the Supreme Rada, has faced abuse of power charges. Similar charges were brought against Mikhail Chechetov, Viktor Yanukovich’s close associate, the former first deputy head of the Party of Regions faction, who committed a suicide on February 28 by jumping out of the window of his apartment. Chechetov fell 17 stories to his death. He left a suicide note saying he could no longer resist pressure.

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