The "in absentia" procedure is a special procedure of criminal proceedings (pre-trial investigation and trial) in the absence of the suspect or the accused in Ukraine. Criminal proceedings in absentia exist in the following countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Bulgaria, Moldova, Estonia, etc.
It was introduced by the Law of Ukraine dated October 7, 2014 No. 1689-VII "On Amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes of Ukraine regarding the inevitability of punishment for certain crimes against the foundations of national security, public safety, and corruption crimes."
The special investigation is applied to crimes under the jurisdiction of the Security Service of Ukraine, such as:
• crimes against the foundations of the national security of Ukraine,
• crimes against public safety,
• crimes against peace,
• human security and international legal order.
The application of a special investigation is extended to proceedings against a suspect who has been hiding from investigative bodies and the court for more than six months in order to evade criminal responsibility and/or for whom there are factual data that he is outside Ukraine, in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.
In addition, taking into account the specifics of a special pre-trial investigation and court proceedings (in absentia), precedents have already appeared in Ukraine, namely case No. 225/1957/21, where the Supreme Court comes to the conclusion that the pre-trial investigation body used not only direct provided by the Criminal Procedure Law, measures to inform the suspect about criminal proceedings by publishing relevant information in the mass media and the Internet, but also additional measures that ensured effective information by sending letters to e-mail.
We pay special attention to the fact that the participation of a defense attorney in criminal proceedings, which is carried out in the absence of the suspect (accused), corresponds not only to the prescriptions of the criminal procedural legislation, but also to international standards for ensuring the fairness of the trial, namely, Art. 6 of the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and precedent practice of the European Court of Human Rights.
So, to sum up the above, in the conditions of war, the judicial system forms judicial practice in Ukraine, which corresponds to the international convention, and consideration of criminal proceedings under a special procedure in absentia takes place according to the highest standards of justice, so that no one can evade punishment.
Alina Shulika, attorney at Dynasty Law & Investmen