23 May 2019

Personal recognizance instead of detention in custody: Drozdova & Partners Law Firm satisfied court that there were no grounds for ordering more severe pre-trial restriction

To apply for a pre-trial restriction, the prosecution should not only have reasonable suspicion of commission of a crime, but also submit strong arguments showing that a person suspected will avoid procedural obligations or commit other offences.

Drozdova & Partners Law Firm’s team has proved in practice the validity of this provision of Article 177(2) of the Ukrainian Code of Criminal Procedure. The advocates have satisfied the court that it is possible to not go beyond a lighter restriction in the form of personal recognisance, while the prosecution asked the court for the detention-in-custody order.

The capital’s prosecution office suspected an individual of having committed a wide number of offences. In addition, the law enforcement have classified the individual’s actions as offences provided by Article 28 of the Criminal Code, which are committed by a group of persons by previous concert or by an organised group or a criminal organisation.

‘It is therefore little wonder that the prosecution expected a court order prescribing the detention in custody for our client for the entire period of the investigation,’ advocate Taras Hereliuk has commented on the facts of the case. ‘Nothing of the kind … We convinced the court of the absence of any reasonable grounds for such pre-trial restriction.’

Eventually, the court dismissed the prosecution’s application and issued an order prescribing personal recognisance as a pre-trial restriction for the person.

‘There is no doubt that the court’s order prescribing the lightest pre-trial restriction possible is nothing more but a tactical win of the defence. Our hardest efforts in these proceedings lie ahead. But the fact that the person was left to go holds a promise of positive outcomes of the proceedings,’ Drozdova & Partners Law Firm Director Ms Olena Drozdova has pointed out. ‘It is common knowledge that the detention of a person suspected in custody actually serves as an instrument of psychological abuse used by the investigation, which, according to the investigation, promotes prompt investigation of offences. A person detained in custody, who is restricted in their capabilities and habits of life, becomes more agreeable — they are even willing to confess to what they did not do to bring an end to uncertainty.’