Pointing to Article 109 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, which sanctions "actions aimed at forceful change or overthrow of the constitutional order or take-over of government, and the conspiracy to commit such actions," and carries with it a maximum punishment of ten years, Oleynik called on international courts and legal institutions to bring the organizers of the 2014 coup in Kiev to justice.
The former senior lawmaker stressed that a formal judgment would set an important legal precedent, hopefully helping to prevent the illegal seizure of power in other countries in the future.
Commenting on the ex-lawmaker's proposal, Ukrainian journalist and activist Yuri Kot said that while Oleynik has virtually no hope of seeing decision in his favor in any Ukrainian court, there is hope "in the Russian and European justice systems."
Kot also stressed that even if authorities in Kiev do not recognize any foreign legal ruling, it would have an important legal and psychological effect for ordinary Ukrainians. "The authorities can refuse to recognize all they like. But Ukrainian citizens, who have suffered from the criminal behavior of these usurpers…will have every right to obtain the status of political refugees."
Furthermore, a ruling on the coup's illegality "would allow them to write to European courts, explaining that their rights and freedoms are being violated, that a seizure of power has taken place in their country, that the constitution is being violated," etc.
A formal ruling would also have important implications for the laws passed by the governments which have come to power since February 2014, according to the journalist. "Appointments to the government, the election of the president, the election of the Rada, the Association Agreement with the EU, and especially the decision on raising utilities prices – all of this has been illegal!"
Ultimately, Kot emphasized that a formal legal ruling on the Maidan would not "by any means" mean the restoration of the country's old authorities to power, which have themselves been implicated in the corruption and lawlessness which helped facilitate the coup.
Instead, he noted, "upon recognizing that a coup took place, Ukraine will receive a unique opportunity to reboot its government, taking into account the bitter experience it has received and the errors which have been made. Based on this, the new government will have an opportunity to build a truly just state, which includes the rule of law, no cult of personality, no 'thieves codes', where everyone is legal before the law."
"Lawlessness must be fought with law, and laws have their own power. And criminals must be dealt with as the law decides," Dudchak concluded.