A man allowed filing an appeal in exchange for freedom

Ruslan Yakovenko shall receive more than UAH 71 thousand from the state for two extra weeks staying in Kyiv Pretrial Detention Centre and the ultimatum that has been actually delivered to him there: “He should either file an appeal from a judgement, and remain behind the bars, or reject the appeal, and then he will be released”.

That is the way the management of Pretrial Detention Centre has executed the court judgement which clearly stated how long Yakovenko shall be imprisoned. And when the man has completely discharged the term of the sentence and was preparing to be released, the condemned has been warned that filing an appeal would lead him to the imprisonment for an indefinite term.

Ruslan Yakovenko has chosen freedom. But he has not forgiven such tyranny of the state and with the assistance of the Public Counselling Office of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union he has filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

According to Oleh Levytskyi, Mr Yakovenko’s advocate: “The state represented by Kyiv Pretrial Detention Centre justified its actions in the European Court by the features of the national legislation. In particular, it was noted that the judgement of conviction is executed only after the entry into legal force. It follows thence, they say, that until the sentence has passed the appeal verification, the condemned may not be released. Even in case if he has completed the sentence of the court of the first instance.

One does not need to be a lawyer so that to intuitively go indignant at such an absurdness. In the case of Ruslan Yakovenko we have a shameful example of deceitful manipulation with the legislation that has nothing to do with the law. Unfortunately, such practice remains widespread in the activities of penal institutions”.

ECtHR has completely satisfied the applicant’s complaint and found that there has been an evidence of infringement of Yakovenko’s right for freedom and the right to appeal against the sentence. In return, the state shall pay moral damages in the amount of EUR 3,000.

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