NABU have made a mistake. The bait turned out too sweet – Nasirov’s attorney
The second part of the interview with the maître of Ukrainian bar Igor Fomin, famous for a successful defense in high-profile cases against numerous politicians, the managing partner at Fomin and Partners Law firm and the attorney of the Head of State Fiscal Service of Ukraine Roman Nasirov, was dedicated to a detailed discussion of this high-profile case in particular.
You can read about the justice in Ukraine and apprehension of celebrated cases by the society in the first part of the interview.
- We have stopped at the idea that some of the deputies put pressure on the court blocking Nasirov in the court. Should there be any responsibility for such actions? If so, what kind? Besides do you know any precedents when members of Parliament were subjected to punishment for something of the kind?
- Formally, such responsibility is prescribed in Criminal Code of Ukraine, but I’m not aware of any cases when people’s deputies, other state officers and even simple citizens were subjected to responsibility.
- In more detail, what are exact charges against Nasirov?
- He is accused of abuse of office and he signed deferral payment of rent. But deferral is not a present. The money must be paid and certainly with percent. On the other side, fiscal service is an institute, but not a single person. We always link everything to names and personalities. The deferral was given by the system. The logic of the operation itself is rather simple, i.e. money at interest. There can be no damage here. The Fiscal Service provided credits at interest by analogy with financial operation, and it was a secured credit guaranteed in the repayment. The algorithm of charges itself is vicious inside. I think they made a mistake. The bait was too sweet not to swallow it. The personality is too vivid from the point of view of PR. The society is used to the idea that Fiscal service is totally corrupted. He was an extremely appropriate case suspect. And now they are caught, and they understood it long time ago.
- What do you mean by “mistaken”?
- It’s a new body. The years should pass to bring up a good investigator. Perhaps, they, as being born by the revolution, need time to learn something as well as good teachers. I think they understood they made a mistake. At long last you must be courageous enough to say: Yes, I’m mistaken. In this case you should apologize and drop the charges. Wisely, that’s how it should be. Let’s imagine Nasirov is acquitted by the court. As a defense attorney, I’m fully sure in this position. Otherwise every banker, giving out loans, must be sent to prison with claims he or she caused a loss to the bank with such actions. That’s the whole logic of the case. What will NABU and SAP do? I suppose they will claim: “We told you we needed Anti-corruption court to combat corruption”.
-Why the defense insists on reading all 700 pages of indictment by prosecutors in court?
- It was my personal position and I didn’t insist on it. The first reason: They keep telling to the society that they have gathered a volume of evidence on which they based their position on possible guilt of Roman Nasirov. No matter how long I and my colleagues explained that these papers didn’t contain anything relevant, the prosecution would claim the contrary. That’s why we decided to let them read. Let people as well as the press listen and decide by themselves if these are evidence. Secondly, you wrote it, so read it now. They have twisted everything for 75 times. Let their heads and jaws ache until it’s finished.
- It looks like you are dragging out the trial. The prosecutors are making it clear by the way.
- I have always been accused of something. When I defended Lutsenko, I was subjected to disciplinary chamber for disbarment. It was the first time during 30 years of work. We heard the same songs in Lutsenko’s case –you are dragging the case out, abuse the rights. How can an attorney drag the case out? The prosecution worked for years, filed 240 volumes, the defense was limited and gave us month to study the case. And now, when it’s necessary to read one volume aloud we are dragging out. It’s ridiculous. The Soviet Union, a totalitarian state, recognized my right to study the case as long as I found it necessary. Now they just stigmatize.
- Ok, what are the perspectives for Nasirov in court? Is it for long?
- We have one more principle contorted. It’s continuity of criminal proceedings. At soviet times, when I took long cases, I could sometimes work eight months 4 days a week at a run. That’s what the continuity of the proceeding is. It’s rather difficult to turn from one case to another. And we have trial once in month and a half. The position of the defense is to ask to set the trial several times a week. Otherwise it will fade away in time and lose its edge so required by the society and NABU and SAP as well. The colleagues must learn to work, you must understand why people need you, to learn how to oppose the other party such as me, but in no case to break into our offices and read attorney’s case.
- Will you go to European court?
- I still hope we’ll win here. However, we have illegal arrest and it has already been appealed in the European court.
- There were talks about violations in Nasirov’s case. What have you recorded?
- You can’t even call them violations. These are deliberate actions which prevented the defense to fulfill its functions.
- Can you set examples?
- Preventing me to gather evidence including expertize, failure to provide materials to the expert, illegal examination of the expert as a witness and Nasirov’s illegal arrest for sure.
- Nasirov’s defense claimed that NABU bugged attorneys’ confidential conversations. Is it true?
- It’s a direct crime. Partially because of disrespect to the law and partially because of misunderstanding. People performing it don’t know and don’t respect the law. They don’t respect the opponent in the process as well the justice.
- If these are criminal cases, then criminal proceedings should have been initiated on these facts?
- Our system doesn’t contain the stage of criminal cases initiation already for a long time. There is a certain registry where you send the documents, and they register the criminal proceedings there. Then they close it or it thicks in the air. One more moment, the rituals are very important. I would prefer the prosecutors appeare before the court from the name of people of Ukraine, but not from the state. The prosecutor come to court and bear the responsibility before the people of Ukraine in his heart but not before his or her Head. Maybe in this case he will understand he represents people of Ukraine to ascertain the truth in the case and hold the guilty ones liable. If elements of crime are not established, he, as the prosecutor, must drop charges against the person. We watch American films where the prosecutors stand up, when it’s obvious, there is no crime or the wrong person is being brought to justice, and stop the criminal proceedings. What’s the reason for dragging time? Stand up, drop charges and leave. In our case, going back to Nasirov, the prosecutors clearly understand they have created a construction in the air without any base. They are trying to insert there something, pour hardener in the shifting dunes. It doesn’t work. I’m very glad this case attracts people’s attention. Our main aim now is to defend people, a person from the injustice, to show everything publicly and openly.
-Why has Nasirov been silent for so long and hasn’t commented on the charges against him?
- You know, he’s the person who worked in the West for quite a long time. They have a different psycho type. The mentality of people who worked and studied in Europe is different. They are more law-abiding than we are, they have different understanding of the right and respect to the law.
- Do you think he has any perspectives to get back to position?
- It’s a political question. Legally he is still the Head of State Fiscal Service. There was no decision to remove him from the post. The Cabinet of Ministers as a political body made a political decision. Roman Nasirov was and still is the Head of State Fiscal Service. By the way, he must be paid. And somebody will have to pay, because the consequences always come. In this case, unfortunately, the consequences are not legal, but colossal political. NABU and SAP can disappoint their investors.
- What are possible consequences here?
- I’m not the prophet, but they may lose the money, help and opportunity to study. And it’s sad. They can lose their weight in the eyes of the society and people.
- What about the country?
- Psychological losses. We have plenty of law enforcement agencies but no common aim for which these bodies exist. They have one task to work with the case solution. They see another aims. And it’s not the crime prevention for sure. The motives for disputes lie not in the area of law, but in the area of politics. NABU and SAP form their own line out of Attorney General’s control. I think it’s wrong. Attorney General must be responsible for everything what happens and have levers of influence on what is happening. It’s abnormal when cases against officer of NABU investigate NABU. It’s wrong; nobody has yet sent to prison himself. The main prosecutor’s proverb says: investigating crime the main idea is not to come to yourself. The law closed this situation like this. But it’s a nuisance. We should come to law passing more professionally. If you want to improve something, you should work. You should take the road of law, and the law is justice. If people know, when they come to court, that they get a fair decision even if against them, they will put up with it. They will know that this decision is fair. I hope more attention to the justice system will be realized. Our prosecutors will not be afraid to say they are wrong and drop charges. The defenders will stop to work wonders and go back to the law. I believe and want to see it.