Ukraine to reinstate up to 14 military courts, their jurisdiction to embrace pardoning of Donbas war participants

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A bill on reinstating military courts in Ukraine envisions the establishment of up to 14 garrison courts, a military appeals court, and a military chamber, Justice Col. Yuriy Bobrov of the legal support directorate at the Ukrainian armed forces general staff said.

“A bill on reinstating military courts has already been drawn up. It envisions the establishment of about 12-14 garrison courts, a military appeals court, and a military chamber. It is also planned in the future to transfer the cases on pardoning members of illegal armed groups to the jurisdiction of military courts,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry quoted Bobrov as saying.

Military courts act efficiently in more than 40 countries, including 12 European countries, it said.

The instances of biased investigations into criminal cases against servicemen and their subsequent hearing by courts located in the area of the special operation in the east of Ukraine can serve as an argument in favor of reinstating military courts, he said.

“Cases against servicemen charged with offences committed in a military conflict zone should be heard above all by a competent court observing the rule of law principle, that is, to be impartial and unbiased. And tell me, can a general jurisdiction court – a district or a city court – which is to some extent under the enemy’s information influence impartially hear a case in relation to a serviceman? I am convinced it cannot,” Bobrov said.

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