The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the law “Raiders Stop 2”, which strengthens the legal responsibility for the raiding of business

Yesterday, during a meeting with representatives of Ukrainian and foreign business, Petro Poroshenko signed Law No.8490, better known as “Raiders Stop 2” [Editor’s note: so-called “Mask-Show”]. This law is designed to eliminate the possibility to pressure business by the investigating authorities, as well as to provide punishment for abuse of the official power. This was reported on the President’s website.

“In simple terms, starting from today, the liable persons will bear personal responsibility for the illegal prosecution of business, including material liability,” – said Poroshenko.

The full title of the law is: “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Improving Ensuring the Observance of the Rights of Participants in Criminal Proceedings and Other Persons by Law Enforcement Agencies in the Pre-Trial Investigation”. However, among the governmental officials, the Law was simply called “Raiders Stop2”. The Law was registered in the Rada in the summer of 2018 on the initiative of the Cabinet of Ministers and it was adopted on September 18th.

The law allows an entrepreneur or a citizen to appeal to the investigating judge with a motion to close the case if the deadlines for conducting a pre-trial investigation have expired (more than one year or 18 months), as well as to claim damages personally from the investigator and prosecutor who committed violations during the investigative actions.

However, it is believed that the law is not as “victorious” as it is served in the government. So, according to the lawyer Yury Radzievsky, the injured party always had and still has the right to file a civil suit in a criminal proceeding against a particular “violator” – therefore, one cannot speak about radical changes for the better.

One more important issue concerns third parties who are involved in the case, but they have not been charged or suspected. If, within the framework of pre-trial proceedings, the investigator arrests the property of such companies “for the purpose of securing physical evidence”, the law allows them to initiate the closure of the criminal case, if the terms of the pre-trial investigation are overdue. Previously, such terms were not established, and arrests of property could last for years, so this innovation is positive.

At the same time, the possibility of arresting the third parties’ property was added only in 2015 –since then such arrests have become commonplace with the potential to put pressure on business.

“The 2015 initiative has radically increased the number of abuses by law enforcement officers. However, instead of prohibiting arresting the property of “third parties”, that is, generally solving the problem, such officials simply “sugar-covered a bitter truth”, partially eliminating the result of the problem”, – the lawyer notes.