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27 July 2018

Odessa Administrative Court of Appeal closed the appeal proceedings in the case of the Mykolaiv mayor Olexander Senkevych who was dismissed beyond the law by the City Council deputies in October of the previous year.

This illegal “impeachment” was appealed to the Central District Court of the city of Mykolaiv. Odessa Administrative Court of Appeal closed the appeal proceedings in the case of the Mykolaiv mayor Olexander Senkevych who was dismissed beyond the law by the City Council deputies in October of the previous year.

This illegal “impeachment” was appealed to the Central District Court of the city of Mykolaiv. In the courts of the first and second instances the Mykolaiv mayor was represented by the Ario Law Firm team, consisting of the senior partner Julian Khorunzhyi, the counsel Kyrylo Yukhno and the lawyer Natalia Shvets.

Today, in the decisive “battle” with the appellants – the Mykolaiv City Council deputies Serhii Isakov and Rostyslav Filevsky – Olexander Senkevych was represented by Kyrylo Yukhno.

“We believe that the first instance court justified fully from the standpoint of the rule of law and with reference to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights that the appealed decision of the Mykolaiv City Council is not rendered proportionally, is not rendered with due regard to all the circumstances relevant to the case and this should be taken into account in accordance with Article 2 of the Administrative Court Procedure Code of Ukraine in the current version. We consider that the decision on termination of the mayor’s powers is illegal both on the basis of the form and on the merits of this decision. In the course of our consideration we established that the draft of this decision differs significantly from the one that was signed. In addition to the fact that we consider the decision of the City Council illegal, we want to emphasize that the rights of the appellants were not violated, not a single subjective right protected by the law was violated by the first instance court. They did not say what they are limited in, what additional obligations were assigned to them. What the right were they deprived of? What does prevent them from exercising their rights and powers now? Therefore, we believe that in this case the closure of the appeal proceedings is required. In any case, the decision of the first instance court is considered legal and such that should remain in effect, and the appeals are not subject to satisfaction,” – Kyrylo Yukhno said during the debate.

On July 27 it was hot in the courtroom: almost 6 hours of judicial confrontation. Here is a brief description of how it happened:

  • At the beginning of the meeting the panel of judges announced that the independent composition of the court had made a decision on consideration of #Senkevychcase in the same composition.
  • The representative of Isakov said that he “accidentally” became aware that the meeting was scheduled for today. The judge noted that the meeting was reported to the participants in advance, and the notification of representatives is not the jurisdiction of the court.• Rostyslav Filevsky filed a petition on study of the video materials of the plenary session, at which an “impeachment” was announced to the mayor. The petition of Rostyslav Filevsky was supported by the deputy Isakov who filed the same petition.
  • The representative of the defense, the counsel of Ario Law Firm Kyrylo Yukhno noted that such statements are, in his opinion, another attempt of the appellants to delay the process.
  • “These petitions are not sufficiently specified and not substantiated, since it is not established and it is not indicated what kind of fact, shorthand notes, written evidence, minutes of the committees can be confirmed by the video. We have all the written evidence: from the deputy committee, the plenary session of the City Council, the draft decision and the explanatory note. The applicant did not indicate in the petition what exactly the video can add to this. I believe that the circumstances have already been established, the shorthand notes, which are represented in the case file and include 142 pages, reproduce literally the speeches on which the plaintiff’s side relied, in particular, the speech of Mr. Isakov and the speech of Mr. Filevsky, who supplemented by ear the draft of the emergency decision at the session and included it into the agenda,” Kyrylo Yukhno said.

  • The representative of Isakov, in turn, stated that “he did not read the shorthand notes in full and did NOT compare them with the video materials”. The court partially satisfied the petitions of the deputies Isakov and Filevsky about the study of the video materials and found it necessary to investigate the circumstances indicated in the shorthand notes indicated by the appellants.• After study of the video materials, Mr. Isakov filed another petition for summoning for interrogation the witnesses, in particular, the members of the Standing Committee on Human Rights, law, publicity, anti-corruption policy, Local Self-Government, Parliamentary Activity and Ethics (Malikin Olexander Volodymyrovych, Kyselyova Olena Vasylivna, Burganenko Olexander Ivanovych and Boyko Dmytro Kostyantynovych). The court refused to satisfy the petition of Mr. Isakov and proposed to proceed to the judicial debate.• Judicial debate was postponed for an hour to allow the appellants to prepare.
  • According to the results of heated debates on both sides, the court closed the appeal proceedings. The appellants have 30 days to appeal the decision of the Odessa Appeal Administrative Court in the Supreme Court.

“Today the Court of Appeal  actually refused to satisfy appeals of Isakov and Filevsky against the decision of the Central District Court of Mykolaiv. The court recognized that the rights of the appellants were not violated and closed the appeal proceedings. From the point of view of the procedural rules, there were two possible options: either decision on the merits – it means the refusal to satisfy appeals or the termination of appeal proceedings. Having held five sessions, having checked carefully all the circumstances, having examined all the evidence, the court, in our opinion, verified the legality of the decision of the first instance court and the absence of violation of any rights and interests of the appellants. The appellants did not provide an explanation of whether their rights as citizens were violated, or if they were deprived of parliamentary powers, or if they are not satisfied with the court decision from the point of view of the members of the territorial community. The court made, in our opinion, a logical and law-governed decision“, – the lawyer of Senkevych, the counsel of Ario Law Firm, Kyrylo Yukhno, said after the announcement of the court decision.