KIEV, Ukraine -- The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has expressed concern that Ukraine is not implementing the recommendations made in the PACE resolution on Ukraine.
This is stated in a statement that PACE issued after a meeting of its Standing Committee in Paris (France) on March 9.
"The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe notes with concern, some 6 weeks following the Resolution 1862 (2012) on the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine, the absence of any tangible signs of its demands being met with regard to the criminal prosecutions initiated under Articles 364 and 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine against a number of former government members...," PACE said in the statement.
In particular, PACE said that despite its calls to amend Articles 364 and 365 of the Criminal Code, which allow for post-facto criminalization of normal political decision-making, the parliament of Ukraine failed to do so on February 8, 2012, thereby pre-empting the possibility for charges against former government officials based on these provisions to be dropped.
According to the statement, the fact that former prime minister and leader of the Batkivschyna All-Ukrainian Association party Yulia Tymoshenko remains in detention and the recent conviction of former interior affairs minister Yurii Lutsenko - notwithstanding their seriously deteriorating health - both strengthen the impression of selective justice.
The assembly reiterated that "the assessment of political decisions and their effects is the prerogative of parliaments and, ultimately, of the electorate and not of the courts."
It once again called on the Ukrainian authorities - including the president - to urgently consider all legal means available to them to release these former government members and to allow them to compete in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
The assembly said it would continue to follow the situation closely through its Monitoring Committee and noted that the committee's co-rapporteurs will visit Ukraine at the end of March 2012 and said that it expects full cooperation of the authorities with the co-rapporteurs, including granting the co-rapporteurs access to the detained former government members.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the parliament refused on February 8 to exempt the president of Ukraine, the prime minister, and other members of the Cabinet of Ministers from criminal responsibility for exceeding and abusing their authority.
On January 26, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution in which recommended that Ukraine drop the charges of abuse of power and abuse of office against former senior government officials and allow them to participate in the next parliamentary elections.