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Amid continuing litigation, there is still no Stus Public Garden

Why have Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA) and Mayor put themselves under criminal investigation?
13 February, 17:43

Not only the court, but the State Executive Service (SES), too, has failed to compel the KCSA to establish the Stus Public Garden. Litigation between the garden’s initiators and the city authorities is continuing. Following the Kyiv District Administrative Court’s April 2012 decision which ordered the KCSA to establish the Stus Public Garden “through organizational and legal measures,” it had seemed that the job was done. However, the KCSA has failed to comply with the decision. Over these months, the SES issued a number of orders and decrees, and even fined the KCSA, but the administration has ignored them all and failed to pay the fine. The situation caused five activists who have been demanding the garden’s establishment for seven years to petition the Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka in late November 2012 to institute criminal proceedings against the KCSA’s chairperson Oleksandr Popov for “persistent failure to comply with the court’s decision.” Incredibly, the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Shevchenkivsky District Department of Kyiv notified the activists shortly thereafter that it had instituted criminal proceedings regarding the KCSA’s deliberate failure to comply with the court’s decision.

The question arises, where has been the logic in the KCSA’s actions, er, inaction? The “organizational and legal measures” prescribed by the court would not saddle the KCSA with too heavy a burden. Why, then, the city executive ignores the court’s decision (!) and gets both itself and its chairperson (who, of course, hopes to win the mayoralty at the next elections) put under a criminal (!) investigation? Where is the logic? The activists are sure the seemingly illogical behavior of the KCSA is linked to Sviatoshynsky district’s expensive land which they believe to have been already promised to someone, so the officials’ designs for it clash with the public garden project.

Another development in this case was hardly unexpected: the SES issued a decree ending enforcement proceedings in late December 2012, implying that the service is now satisfied with the KCSA’s actions. That is, they have not established the public garden, nor complied with the court’s decision, nor paid the fine, but the SES is still satisfied. The activists fear the decree can end the criminal proceedings for lack of corpus delicti, so they challenged it in court. Yurii Zhuravliov, acting as the plaintiff in this case, expressed in the petition his opinion that “the decree should be annulled as illegal, because the SES did nothing to compel the KCSA officials to comply.” Judge Yulia Shramko presided over the first hearing in the case at the Kyiv District Administrative Court on February 7. The KCSA was represented by attorney Savych at the hearing who declined to comment. Hearing on the merits of the case is scheduled for February 27, 2013.

We will keep our readers informed of further developments in this case.

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