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Bus arson investigation gets underway

21.05.2018

Subject of complaint: National Police

Complaint in brief: In March 2018, a passenger transport company "Avto-Express" complained to the BOC about lack of response on the part of the National Police. In the summer of 2016, a group of people attacked a guard at a bus park in Mykolaiv and set buses belonging to the company on fire. In all, 7 buses were damaged for a total cost of over UAH 2mn. 

Immediately after the launch of a criminal case, the Complainant named the individuals who, in the company’s opinion, were likely the instigators of this crime. He also suggested a motive and provided circumstantial evidence. Despite this, the Complainant claimed that the investigators had not interrogated these individuals, found no witnesses to the crime, and failed to look for the vehicle in which the perpetrators escaped. 

The Complainant repeatedly tried to have the investigation moved to another team, with no result. 

Actions taken: The BOC investigator addressed the Prosecutor’s Office of Mykolaiv Oblast, asking it to take steps to ensure that an effective, unbiased investigation of the criminal case. After Mykolaiv Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that the investigation was being handled contrary to Ukrainian law, the case was moved from the District Department of the National Police to a higher level, the General Directorate of the National Police in Mykolaiv Oblast, as requested by the Complainant. Every two weeks while the complaint was being reviewed, the BOC investigator contacted oblast police officers until he was certain that the case was moving forward. 

Result achieved: At the end of April, the Complainant thanked the BOC for ensuring that the case was properly handled.