Yanukovych signs amnesty bill
President Viktor Yanukovych has signed the law on the relief from criminal punishment of participants of mass rallies adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on January 29, the president's press office has reported on Friday.
“The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has signed several laws: No.732-VII "On Recognition of Several Laws of Ukraine Invalid" ..., No.737-VII "On Elimination of Negative Consequences and Prevention of Prosecution and Punishment of Persons on Occasion of Events that Took Place during Peaceful Rallies", the report reads. Also, the head of state signed the Law “On Amendments to Article 297 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the Responsibility for Desecration or Destruction of Monuments Erected in Commemoration of Those Who Fought Against Nazism During the Great Patriotic War - the Soviet Military Men-Liberators, Participants of the Partisan Movement, Undergrounders, Victims of Nazi Persecutions, Soldiers-Internationalists and Peacekeepers; Law “On Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the Responsibility for Denial or Excuse of Fascist Crimes"; Law “On Amendments to Article 197 of the Tax Code of Ukraine regarding VAT Exemption of Importing Natural Gas into the Customs Territory of Ukraine”.As reported, according to the signed amnesty law, the amnesty could be applied to persons who are suspected or accused (defendants) of committing during the period from December 27, 2013 until the date of entry into force of this law including crimes under Articles 109, 1101, 161, 194, 259, 279, 293, 294, 295, 296, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 350, 351, 352, 376, 377, 382, 386 of the Criminal Code, with the proviso that these crimes are related to mass protests, which began on November 21, 2013, simultaneously with the closure of the relevant criminal proceedings. The law shall enter into force on the day following the day of its publication, however, it is enacted from the day following the day of publication in the official web site of the General Prosecutor's Office of a message of the Prosecutor General about the actual release by mass protest participants of all seized in Kyiv and other Ukrainian towns and villages buildings or premises of government and local self-government and removal of other obstacles to the proper functioning of the specified facilities; unblocking of transport communications on Hrushevskoho Street and other streets, squares, alleys, boulevards, etc. in Kyiv and other Ukrainian towns and villages, except for those which host peaceful protests. At the same time, it is provided that the Prosecutor General shall publish on the official website of the PGO a message on the actual fulfillment by mass protest participants of these actions only if they were committed at the latest within fifteen days from the day following the date of entry into force of this law. If at the end of the specified period the message of the Prosecutor General does not appear, the law becomes ineffective on the day following the last day of that period.