If you want to find details about the case of a corrupt official from official sources, visit the websites of the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) and the Unified State Register of Court Decisions (USRCD).
It may be difficult to find information about the person involved in the case on the HACC website. The Anti-Corruption Court does not mention the names of detainees, accused, or suspects. Why is it so — find out from our previous reference.
However, even without a full name, you can get information about the date and time of the hearing. In the section “list of court cases assigned for consideration” you will see a list of hearings with the number of the case, the panel considering it, as well as the participants in the case. Moreover, the names of the persons involved are not indicated in the course of pre-trial investigation, but are indicated in the course of the trial.
The date of the next hearing can be found by the case number. In the list on the HACC website, this is the second column named “the single unique case number.” It consists of three digits with a slash (/). The first is the court code (for example, 991 for the HACC), the second is the case number in the current year, and the third one is the year of registration (last two digits).
The USRCD website is quite intuitive. Although the register does not contain information on the names of potential corrupt officials, its main page contains fields where court decisions can be found by phrase, timeframe of the decision, court name, and other meanings.
Please note that all decisions in the case can be found by the number of a criminal proceeding, which consists of 17 digits, and the date of registration of the case in the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations (ERPTI).
The number of a criminal proceeding makes it possible to find a court decision through a contextual search, as it is indicated in the text of court decisions and is unchanged from the statement (its entry in the ERDR) to the verdict as well as to its appellate and cassation review, in contrast to the above-mentioned case number, which is assigned separately to each document submitted/referred to court for consideration (for example, a request for an interim measure and an indictment).
Why is complete information about those involved in the investigation unavailable on these websites?
In Ukraine, everyone can access information. This is guaranteed by the Constitution. An exception may be a situation where, for example, crime must be prevented, or confidential information not allowed to be disclosed. Therefore, the criminal legislation enshrines both the principles of publicity and openness of court proceedings, and the rule on the inadmissibility of disclosure of information on pre-trial investigation.
Publicity and openness are needed at a stage when the pre-trial investigation has been completed, the evidence has been collected, and the court can examine it. The inadmissibility of disclosing information on the pre-trial investigation speaks for itself: this rule is aimed at maintaining the secrecy of investigation.
These two different approaches to regulating access to information in pre-trial investigation and trial are determined by their objectives. If there was no secrecy of pre-trial investigation, the information about certain investigative actions would have become widely known before they were conducted. And in the worst case, it would allow the suspects to destroy the evidence.
The principles of publicity and openness are established in order for judges to consider cases impersonally and impartially. If the court has not decided on a closed hearing, everyone can be present at the court hearing. Read here what free listeners need to consider before attending hearings.