Russia has no legal grounds for liberating Nadezhda Savchenko, she has actually become a hostage of Putin’s political will, the former Minister of Justice and Honorary Member of the PACE Sergey Golovaty said in his comment to the GORDON .
"Painful as it may, but Nadezhda Savchenko is under arrest now. She became a member of the parliament after she had been arrested. If she had been arrested in Ukraine and become a deputy thereafter, Ukraine would have set her free, as was the case with Mikhail Brodsky who was also arrested but set free after he was elected a deputy. It is clear that Russia will not do it because it is not a legal matter for Russia. It is a voluntaristic matter and Putin’s order. Savchenko has become a hostage and the question of her liberation depends only on Putin’s political will. It should not be speculated upon in legal terms," the expert said.
According to Golovaty, the status of a PACE deputy as well as the status of a people’s deputy of Ukraine do not have a decisive role in Savchenko’s case.
"Russia has no clear obligation to liberate Savchenko. Remember Lazarenko’s case when he was arrested. He was a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and produced a PACE member certificate when he was arrested. However, he was explained that it is not valid because his trip was not related to his fulfilment of PACE member functions. One should take into account this subtle detail of legal immunity. For example, if Savchenko were a PACE deputy and were on a trip to now pro-Russian Greece, and the Greek authorities tried to arrest her on request of Russia, they would have no right to do so since Savchenko would be going to a PACE committee meeting and would enjoy immunity. However, according to the fake Russian legend, she committed a crime having the status of an ordinary citizen. Moreover, the status of a Ukrainian deputy as well as the status of a PACE deputy does not cover such cases," he reported.
Golovaty believes that Savchenko’s attorney has somewhat wrong interpretation of the situation.
"I was listening to Nadezhda Savchenko’s attorney yesterday and I can say that he is somewhat deceiving. Our young PACE delegation has not had enough time to study all legal documents and find out what the international immunity of a PACE member means and who enjoys it. They act and comment from an emotional rather than legal point of view. A special assembly resolution must be adopted for this. It could be adopted if the PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure and Immunities would have prepared a report including this claim. And there is no such report," the expert pointed out.
In his opinion, a PACE deputy enjoys immunity only while he fulfils the functions of a PACE member.
"The assembly immunity is a derivative of national immunity. The national immunity only applies in the territory of the state or within the national jurisdiction. When a national deputy enjoying national immunity becomes a PACE member and his or her powers are ratified, which was done in Savchenko’s case, he or she obtains immunity as defined by the assembly documents. And these documents stipulate that a person who became a PACE member enjoys immunity only during his or her execution of PACE member functions. No enforcement measures may be applied to a PACE member during his or her travel to the assembly or committee meeting venue and during the meetings themselves. We have a somewhat different legal situation in case of Nadezhda Savchenko," the expert stated.
"I will repeat that the resolution adopted following the report of the PACE Migration Committee makes no reference to immunity and cannot make any. The Ukrainian delegation should have addressed the Committee on Rules of Procedure for it to consider this issue and make a relevant decision. If it were the case and Savchenko could be granted immunity, why does not the Ukrainian delegation do so? Does not Vlasenko know about it? He is Timoshenko’s attorney and it is their faction. These issues are not so simple as they may seem," Golovaty summed up.