“A big thing in the DNI and LC courts to run!
What to eat. The court is the main obstacle for a person sliding into barbarism!” — once gave me an unexpected idea one venerable Donetsk lawyer.
The courts are working in Donetsk since March 17, 2015.
And to talk about it with anyone. Officials at DNR say strictly prohibits. But then “lucky”. Recently in Donetsk was quite a scandal: justice removed the judge from Makeyevka Carolina Zabelin. And she, since I had nothing to lose, agreed to talk to the journalist “MK” about the lives of ordinary judge of the district court.
photo: Dmitry Durnev
How long have you been a judge?
— Five months. 17 March 2016 was signed the decree of Alexander Zakharchenko about the appointment, and April 4, I began the execution of justice. Prior to that, from 2015, was engaged in protection of citizens in the courts. And in the Ukraine, worked with 2004 in the same court assistant. Finished in 2002 the Kharkiv law Academy of Yaroslav the Wise, the judicial Department, it used to be called the Department of justice. Is to finish with questions about my qualifications. In our case I went through all the steps.
— What is justice in Donetsk?
— Justice in Donetsk people’s Republic is guaranteed only by the Constitution, which stipulates that we have the judiciary and everyone living in the Republic has the right to protect their interests in court. And then everything is a failure. Laws on the judicial system here. The law, for example, the Prosecutor’s office is, but with us is the problem. You know, all ministries in the Republic work in the legal field, it adopted the laws. When it comes to the judicial system, then there is a simple resolution that we can dispense justice. And nothing else yet.
And judge according to the Ukrainian criminal procedure code?
— Yes, in the administration of justice using the Ukrainian legislation, is not contrary to the Constitution of the DNI. Used the Code of administrative offences, Civil code, Civil procedural, Family, and the same of the CPC of the USSR from 1961. Although when I submitted the documents to the court, the direction was to the Russian legislation, the maximum rapprochement with Russia. When beginning to administer justice, all the judges of our Supreme court began to say: “Read the Ukrainian registries.”
— A lot of judges in the DNI?
— Only 75. A lot or a little? I’ll tell you its the Mining district of Makeyevka. To the court are Miners and Soviet areas. If we consider the left, the Miner lives of 150 thousand people, in the Soviet — less: he was fired actively, a lot of victims, and somewhere in there 80 thousand now remained. Courts in Makeyevka operates two. The second is the Central court serves the remaining three districts: the Central, Kirovsky and Chervonogvardeysky. It turns out, only about 200 thousand people. There are eight judges, and we have three. Load of rabid, judges needed!
The President of the court I a little regret: I have small children, but I was listed 583 cases. That’s a lot. During eight-hour day, even if the business is to spend 30 minutes — no time is not enough.
I heard in the Republic have the death penalty present in the code of the Ukrainian SSR from 1961, which applies to the DNR…
— Yes, there is. I have in production, for example, two cases provided by the legislation of the death penalty.
— For what?
— A limited number of articles — don’t remember the Soviet Union? Crimes related to attempted murder of representatives of the authorities, for example. I have in production — the assassination of a law enforcement officer and attempted murder for political reasons. But to speak about something early. In court it went to the highest measure, but is still a judicial investigation. And given what we have staff shortages in the Prosecutor’s office, where investigators who are just 24 years old and who do not know the words to “the actual circumstances of the case”, then these guys anywhere higher measure can emerge. In the case of the attempted murder of my husband with the wife argued on political issues, he hit her and tried to choke him — not killed. What can I say? The court is a place where you pass judgment and put his signature. For all the Bedlam in law enforcement finalizes the judge, which does not yet protected.
— And how to execute the condemned and whether there are already sentences to death penalty?
— In the Soviet Union were shot, and we have sentenced to execution. There is only one sentence, but it is not enforced: the case for appeal. A high-profile case was tried three Cossacks at the front, raped and robbed. One of the trio sentenced to capital punishment. I as the judge says that in a situation of wartime, many deserve the punishment.
— A lot of murders?
— If you are on criminal cases, a lot of thefts. Very much. People are hungry, without money, often go on the offense. I had a case, burdened with charges of vandalism: a man dug in the cemetery of the channel on the grave and turned them in for scrap, with the money bought drugs mother. Or was the defendant, a woman with two children. She went into prostitution, her same apartment underpaid, she went quietly into the next room and from the box he took out the necklace.
— Many have to steal to get under a criminal case? What time these people got?
Now more — the threshold to 1200 rubles raised. And these people received public work. I sincerely believe that these thieves should not be in prison. There are fines, community work — enough.
— I wonder if a marriage terminates in the self-proclaimed Republic not recognized by anyone.
— Of course, terminate. People are going to get a divorce in our courts in 2015, collect child support, is recognized through the Ukrainian court writs of execution enforceable in the territory of the DNI, contested wills divide the property…
And your sentences are recognized, at least in Russia?
— No. Our sentences is not yet recognized. And as they will admit, if we have a judicial system with uncertain status? There are no laws against it, even in DND. Well, except for the Constitution.
Now, incidentally, a very loud against your colleagues — journalist Natalia Gorbenko. Her husband became head of the Department one of the ministries and started to divide the property. Their judge of the district court DNR first lit in absentia, without the presence of his wife. Then the wife’s appeal on the default judgment refused to consider. And now the same judge took into consideration from the husband’s claim for division of property — houses in Donetsk and… of land in the Crimea. The district court DNR divides the land in the Crimea. What can I say…
— What are the main problems with which people go to court?
— Most often it is the right of ownership and the definition of the additional period for acceptance of inheritance. He was not at home, then someone from relatives was killed, the house destroyed, and man for half a year could not claim their rights to inheritance as expected. Where to go? He goes to court. The notary worked for some time, but now again ceased to issue the property right, because for this you need a registry. And if the judicial system has somehow established its own registry solutions, a notary to monitor the right of ownership is impossible. When I find out in the court of the heirs, then take the phone and call in Makiivka one notary to another… Yes! I make a written request to the archive, but until he comes, until you write the answer if you find… all manual, All slowly, all hard.
Us behind the scenes at all the seminars they say that under any pretext such cases must be dismissed: “do Not substitute! It’s not our fault that they don’t work!” But how to do it? To deny the law is impossible! I have a 93 years old woman was in court, her pension of 2000 roubles and the state duty in the court — 6000! And her son has died, and she paid these 6 thousands gather to usher in the inheritance and to bequeath it then someone…
We still have a very guide when to prescribe military conflict in the decisions. But how else? People come and tell you how sitting in the vaults, as malnourished, as fled from the war and could not come to the notary because notaries for more than a year was not. People have their homes destroyed and they the time to join a legacy renewed. They Say: “Nothing! His build up!..”
I understand the manual — it’s under a magnifying glass looks at a decision on recognition of ownership rights: “the judge Took money or not?” But the grandmother with 6 thousand gathering before my eyes. I can’t refuse the consideration of the court for her last resort. And I make those decisions. This is why I didn’t like.
— For a long time?
— Immediately. Didn’t want to see me in the judges, to be honest.
— How judges are appointed to the NPT?
— Alexander Zakharchenko, the Chairman of the Supreme court Edward Jakubowski. The judiciary is independent, but judges are still not fixed whole package of laws. We need laws on the status of judges, powers, etc. Dismiss judges by decree, too Zakharchenko. And to appeal this decision impossible: the laws do not. Here me now and will be dismissed for violation of the Code of honor of judges…
— Yes, addressed to the head of the Supreme court of the DNI personally. Sort of violated the rules of treatment. We in the court lacked the convoy room, without her judging of people in jail, it is impossible. I have a 87 criminal cases against persons in custody. Roughly speaking, the hundreds of people sitting in detention, and their cases are not even considered, they were not even brought to court, they just sit there without a chance! Now, after my report and my suspension started to repair the room escort her after our appeal, the administration of the city of Makeyevka promised to do — and does. Dead end was a chamber with three special locks. We even buy for your money: corruption!.. Well written appeal — through the head, and on his head.
Got excited, of course. But I’m a month and a half alone, without a Secretary and assistant, and 573 of the case — though on a wall climb! I have even a minor stroke was, but I continued to judge…
You know, the time is now — transitive. We — judge young, beginning, of the helpers came out, without connections and without money. And in Ukraine, judicial reform is coming, honored judge, respected people out of the chairs. Look, and the Republic established, Opera, and here, there is still a chance to come back.
I have the feeling that the laws about the judicial system in our National Council therefore does not accept that the checks were not spelled out and the right people to run the system.
And sorry! Of course, I do not believe that the Minsk agreement as it is implemented and we will be some autonomy in Ukraine. When each day in court with real people, understand how difficult. But at the same time there will be no laws — our decisions then nobody recognize. And behind them — the fate of people!