Sharing the stage: how is the mutual extradition of prisoners of Donbass and Crimea

How many prisoners were left on both sides?

As it became known , Moscow and Kiev have agreed about the mechanism of release pilots Hope Savchenko and two Russians, considered to be Ukraine “the soldiers of the GRU”. They will be transferred to serve their sentences in their homeland synchronously until the end of may. Savchenko condemned in Russia for complicity in the murder of Russian journalists. Russians Alexander Erofeev and Evgeny Alexandrov is recognized in Ukraine, terrorists and combatants. The exchange of convicts may become a precedent for Russia and Ukraine. Still, since the signing of the first Minsk agreement in September 2014, the parties exchanged only captured by ordinary members of the fighting between Kiev and opposing him Donetsk and Lugansk.

The second Minsk agreement provides for the exchange of “all for all”, but since its signature in February of 2015, the process is constantly being slowed — the parties cannot agree on the lists and to decide on those who distribute arrangements. The next round of prisoner exchange is scheduled for may 1. In exchange for 25 people, both military and civil, the Ukrainian side needs to release 50 members of the Donbass armed formations, pre-pardoning seven of them are already sentenced to real terms. At the beginning of April, Kiev insisted on the release of 114 persons. The leadership of the DPR and LPR estimated the number held by the Ukrainian side in 950 people (the issue was about the Russians who fought on the side of the breakaway republics).

How many convicted Russians still in Ukraine?

For some prisoners the provisions of the Minsk agreements not formally apply — we are talking about the Russians, convicted in Ukraine for separatist, terrorist and espionage activities. These are at least a hundred. In Moscow, they consider condemned for political motives. Kiev, in turn, argues that the portion captured in the Donbass of Ukrainian citizens is including in Russia.

The number of Russian citizens who are arrested or already convicted in the Ukraine in terrorist and separatist articles, unknown. “We have no precise data, unfortunately, many Russian citizens are now in Ukrainian pre-trial detention and prisons”, — said Thursday the Russian foreign Ministry Commissioner on human rights Konstantin Dolgov (quoted by RIA Novosti). Two days before this TASS cited his statement that only on the territory of Ukraine in places of confinement there are more than 130 citizens of Russia, accused by “political articles”. The head of the security service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak, in April spoke only of eight Russians convicted of separatist activities since the beginning of the antiterrorist operation in the Southeast of the country.

In August 2014 the court of Ovidiopolsky Odessa region sentenced to five years imprisonment of a Russian citizen, accused of endangering the territorial integrity of Ukraine (in Odessa he recruited volunteers to participate in the fighting in the Donbas). In April 2015, the court in Chernihiv has been sentenced to nine years a citizen of Russia, accused of “gathering intelligence information in the field of development of technologies of manufacturing of military weapons”. In September of the same year the Dzerzhinsky court sentenced to 14 years imprisonment Vladimir Starkov, which was carrying ammunition for the fighters of the self-proclaimed DND. The SBU considers it the major of the GRU of the Russian General staff. In January 2016 the courts in the Donetsk region and Lugansk regions were found guilty of terrorist activities two Russians — one were sentenced to eight, another to 13 years in prison.

“There is no single summary statistics,” says military expert Boris Rozhin, which monitors the situation in the Donbass. There are various lists of prisoners of war, political prisoners, arrested in the “case 2 may” (the 2 may 2014 Odessa clashes between supporters and opponents of the new Kiev authorities ended with a fire in the House of trade Unions and the deaths of 47 people), he enumerates. Among the latter — at least two citizens of Russia. One of them, Eugene Meadow, April 8, holds a hunger strike to protest against the “groundless detention”, reported the Agency “Interfax-Ukraine”.

Who else parties can exchange?

From Russia Ukraine publicly requires the issuance of several people: filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, and Gennady Afanasiev, as well as the former Director of the Ukrainian defense plant “Banner” Yuri Soloshenko.

Other Ukrainian citizens, arrested in connection with armed conflict in the Donbass, the Russian side did not mention. But in the list that Ukraine gave in March in a trilateral contact group included 128 Ukrainians. “It’s not just the guys who are in Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as those people who are in the territory of the Russian Federation”, — said “UKRINFORM” Advisor to the Chairman of the security service of Ukraine (SBU) Yuriy Tandit.

Sentsov, Kolchenko and Afanasyev condemned by the so-called case of the Crimean terrorists. A native of the Crimea and the activist of “Automaidan”, Sentsov was arrested in may 2014, two months after joining the Peninsula to Russia. The FSB accused him of preparing terrorist acts with him were arrested three more Ukrainian polydactylies, Kolchenko, Afanasyev and Alexei Chirny. The last two went to deal with the investigation and was given seven years in prison, but the trial of Sentsov and Kolchenko, Afanasyev, who spoke as a witness for the prosecution, declared that the testimony was given under duress. In August 2015 Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in strict regime and transferred to Yakutia. Kolchenko received ten years in prison.

73-summer Yury Soloshenko last year was convicted for espionage in favor of Ukraine and sentenced by Moscow city court to six years in a penal colony. His case was classified, but according to media reports, he was charged with attempted removal of some parts of Russian arms.

As it became known on 8 April, the Russian Federal Ministry of justice instructed the prison service to prepare the documents for resolving the issue of the transfer of Ukraine the four convicts. After a few days, the press service of the Ministry reported that appealed to the Ukrainian colleagues with the request to transfer from Ukraine release from prison the Russians. The names of these prisoners or article for which they were convicted, the justice Ministry did not disclose.

Release if convicted after the grant?

Extradition of prisoners decided under the Convention on the transfer of sentenced persons of 1983 and the Criminal procedure code of Russia and Ukraine. The parties must exchange documents, including, confirm that the court decisions must be recognized by both countries, and the sentences executed, reported the press service of the Russian Ministry of justice.

If Moscow or Kiev will declare their intention to free the prisoners, then in accordance with the criminal procedure code it will be grounds for refusal. However, under the Convention, each party may grant pardon, Amnesty or commutation of the sentence in accordance with its Constitution or other legal acts.

After receiving requests for extradition, Ministry of justice of both countries turn to the service of execution of punishments, which prepares the materials and your review on request. After that, the documents submitted to the court (at the place of residence of the convicted person) who makes the final decision on extradition.

Russian authorities should consider the transfer request within one month, but may request additional time, said the lawyer Savchenko Nikolai Polozov.

The Convention provides that to pardon or mitigate punishment for prisoners returning to their homeland can be President (he must be guided by the legislation of their country).

Similar examples are given from the lawyer Vladimir Krasnov. For example, in June 2004, Qatar passed in Russia “to the sentence” for life-sentenced Belashkov Anatoly and Vasily Bogachev. They were found guilty in the murder of Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. What happened to them next is unknown: “I never heard of them. We don’t have any, stated in February 2005 the then head of the Federal penitentiary service Yuri Kalinin. – Maybe they treat somewhere, maybe on procedural matters, but let me reiterate — in our system they are gone.”