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SSS returns mistakenly seized property to owner

06.11.2020

Complainee: State Security Service of Ukraine (SSS)

Complaint in brief: A law firm “Patriot.Legal” from Kyiv appealed to the Council for help as long as it could not return property that was seized during a search.

The SSS investigators conducted the search in the  premises, where the office of the law firm was situated. The law enforcers  seized all computer equipment, work documents and seals of the company that were later attached as evidence to the criminal proceeding’s materials. The Complainant urged the search was illicit and in fact conducted in premises, not sanctioned by the court. 

After the law enforcers’ raid the company suspended its business activity and suffered not only financial losses, but a huge reputational damage. 

Due to illegality of the search and violation of procedural legislation, the complainant appealed against the seizure of property in court. The law firm in fact was not involved in crimes investigated within the criminal proceeding. Although the court made a decision in favor of the company, the SSS investigators did not execute the resolution for a long time. At that point the Council started consideration of the complaint. 

Actions taken: Having examined the case file, the investigator acknowledged that the complaint was substantiated. The Council supported the law firm’s position and recommended the State Security Service to execute the court’s resolution and return the seized property to its legal owner – the complainant. 

Results achieved: Due to the Council’s interference the state body returned the seized property to the complainant in the shortest possible time. Currently the сomplainant is challenging in the court the SSS actions that caused damage to him.