Mailis Reps and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin, monitoring co-rapporteurs for Ukraine of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), have welcomed plans to address structural deficiencies in the Ukrainian justice system, such as the draft Code of Criminal Procedure, but stressed that these plans now need to be adopted and, most importantly, implemented, PACE press office reports Monday.

They were speaking at the end of a visit to Kyiv from 26 to 30 March 2012 to discuss the follow-up given by the authorities to Resolution 1862 (2012), which the Assembly adopted in response to its concerns regarding the prosecution of several members of the previous government.

Referring to imprisoned former government officials, the co-rapporteurs stressed that the authorities should not only address the underlying deficiencies, but also the questionable legal processes that are the result of them. “Not doing so would violate the right to a fair trial as spelled out in the European Convention on Human Rights,” they said.

The co-rapporteurs also visited former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko in prison. “Until now, our requests for such visits have been refused. The fact that this visit was made possible, with the assistance given by the Prosecutor General, signals, we hope, that the authorities have accepted our calls for a constructive dialogue with a view to finding a satisfactory solution for this issue that is unnecessarily straining relations with our Assembly. This is an important first step,” said the co-rapporteurs.

The co-rapporteurs will visit Ukraine again in May this year.

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