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Dainius Žalimas: “I welcome the resolve of Ukraine to prosecute the persons responsible for aggression”

13-03-2018

The chairman and 18 judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation have been held criminally liable for their involvement in committing aggression against Ukraine – the annexation of Crimea. Today is the first of the two dates on which they are summoned for questioning at the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine.

As posted on Facebook by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Yurii Lutsenko, based on the available evidence, on 1 March 2018, the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office issued notices with regard to the chairman and 18 judges of the Russian Constitutional Court on suspicions of having committed a crime under Article 27 of Part 5 and Article 110 of Part 3 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (complicity by representatives of the authorities, by prior conspiracy of a group of persons, in intentional acts that are committed in violation of the Constitution of Ukraine with the aim of modifying the borders of the territory and the state of Ukraine and lead to serious consequences). On 6 March, the said notices together with summonses to appear for questioning on 13 and 19 March were delivered to the persons concerned. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General noted that, in the event of failure without a valid reason by the suspected persons to appear on the fixed dates at the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office, they would be placed on the list of wanted persons and a request would be filed with a court for obtaining permission for their apprehension in order to bring them before a court, which would decide on the imposition of the pretrial measure of detention.

It should be recalled that, on 18 March 2014, in Moscow, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and self-proclaimed representatives of the so-called “Crimean authorities”, who are actually the puppets of the Kremlin, signed the “Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and the Formation of New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation”, which is void and criminal from the point of view of international law. In gross disregard of the Constitution of Russia and international law, the judges of the Russian Constitutional Court unanimously, within one night, ruled this treaty to be lawful, thus opening the way for the ratification of the “treaty” by the Russian Parliament. The chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court, Valery Zorkin, even made no secret of the fact that such a development was “unprecedented for Russia’s top judicial body”, while its urgency had been “dictated by the events” and the “President’s request”.

“This is indeed an unprecedented event – for the first time in the world, the whole constitutional court was used to legalise the annexation of territory of another state, and it is the only constitutional court in the world that shares responsibility for committing aggression against a foreign state. The fact that the annexation of Crimea is an international crime is understandable to every conscious lawyer, but the judges of the Russian Constitutional Court are proud, we can confidently say, to have their hands stained with blood, while the chairman of this court contends that the annexation has purportedly provided protection against “Islamic terrorism and Banderite neo-Nazism”. To see that the whole court has committed an international crime causes a sense of shame to the entire international community of constitutional justice institutions”, stressed the President of the Constitutional Court, Dainius Žalimas.

It should be recalled that the judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation were not allowed to participate in the 4th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, held last year in Vilnius, since they are included in the list of persons banned from entering Lithuania. This has been done precisely for the reason that, by adopting the above-mentioned criminal judgment, they contributed to the aggression against Ukraine.

“The suspicions raised over the committed crime once again show that Lithuania is no place for persons suspected of committing international crimes; nor is a civilised legal community a place for them, either. I hope that the resolve of Ukraine in the principled prosecution of all those responsible for the aggression will receive full support from the international community”, said Dainius Žalimas.