Unofficial translation

Law on the Protection of Individuals involved in Criminal Proceedings

Enacted by the Supreme Council’s Resolution 3926-12 of 2 April 1994; VVR 1994, #18, p. 105

Changed and amended according to Law 523-IV (523-15) of 6 February 2003

Chapter I - General Provisions

Article 1 – The Notion of Protection of Individuals Involved in Criminal Proceedings

Securing protection of individuals involved in criminal proceedings - i.e., officials engaged in detecting, preventing, stopping, uncovering or investigating criminal offences, as well as in court hearings of criminal cases - shall be understood as legal, organizational, technical, and other measures taken by law enforcement agencies, aimed at protecting the life, homes, health, and property of these individuals against unlawful encroachments by providing conditions necessary for properly administering justice.

Article 2 – Individuals Entitled to Protection

The right to use security arrangements stipulated by Articles 1 and 7 of this Law, in the presence of proper circumstances, shall be vested in:

Article 3 – Protecting Organs

1. Among the organs responsible for protecting individuals indicated in Article 2 hereinbefore shall be bodies of the State which:

2. Decisions on protection measures shall be made by the investigating authority, public prosecutor, and court conducting criminal proceedings in which any of the individuals indicated in Article 2 hereinabove are involved, and by the investigating body (unit) in regard to persons involved in or with the detection, prevention, termination or exposure of criminal offences.

3. Protection measures shall be carried out, respectively, on organs of the Security Service or the Interior Ministry, in whose structures relevant task forces [special organization departments] shall be set up. In regard to individuals placed under protection in conjunction with criminal cases being handled by the public prosecutor's office or during court hearings, security arrangements shall be made by the agency of the security service, internal affairs agencies, or penitentiary agencies and institutions. Security arrangements in relation to military servicemen shall also be made by the commanding officers of respective units. The security of people staying in the institutions of the criminal penitentiary system shall be ensured by penitentiary agencies and institutions. (Paragraph 3 added to the Part 3 according to Law of Ukraine #523-IV ( 523-15 ) of February 06, 2003 )


Chapter II – Rights and Obligations of Individuals Subject to Protection measures, and of Protecting Organs

Article 5 – Rights and Obligations of Individuals Subject to Protection Measures

1. Individuals placed under protection shall have the right to:

2. Individuals placed under protection shall be under the obligation to:

Article 6 – Rights and Obligations of Protecting Organs

1. The organ deciding on protection measures shall have the right to:

2. Protecting organs shall have the right to:

(a) Determine protection measures, means and methods thereof, and perforce add to them or modify them;

(b) Demand from persons under protection compliance with the terms and conditions of security arrangements, and with lawful instructions in conjunction therewith;

(c) Turn to the investigating authority, public prosecutor or the court of law handling the case for sanctioning protection measures when conducting proceedings or for cancellation of such measures being taken.

3. Protecting organs shall be under the obligation to:

4. Protecting organs shall be under the obligation to adhere to the law and respect citizens' rights and freedoms.

Information about security arrangements in regard to the above- mentioned persons shall be considered classified.

Chapter III – Security Arrangements

Article 7 – Security Arrangements

1. Security arrangements shall include:

2. Depending on the nature and degree of danger to the life, health, home, and property of persons under protection, other security arrangements may be made.

Article 8 – Bodyguards, Protection of Home and Property

1. Protecting organs shall perforce arrange for bodyguards and protection of the homes and property of their charges.

2. Home and property may be equipped with fire and burglar alarm devices, private home numbers and car license plates may be changed.

Article 9 – Issuance of Special Individual Protection Means and Warning Devices

In the presence of danger to the life and health of persons under protection these persons may be issued special individual protection means and warning devices in keeping with legally set procedures.

Article 10 – Use of Technical Means of Tracing and Listening in on Telephone and Other Communications

When threatened with acts of violence or other unlawful actions, persons under protection may request or agree in writing to use of means of listening in on their telephone and other communications, including audio recording equipment.

Article 11 – Change of ID Papers and Appearance

If need be, persons under protection may have their ID papers, other documents, and appearance changed.

Article 12 – Change of Place of Work or Study

1. If in order to eliminate a danger to a person under protection his/her place of work or study has to be changed, such arrangements shall be made following this person's request or consent [in writing].

2. The time this person has to be absent from work under such circumstances shall be included in this person's service record and a monetary compensation issued; if this person receives a lower paid job, the difference shall be made up for as provided by current legislation and keeping with procedures adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Article 13 – Change of Residence

1. Persons placed under protection may for reasons of security be temporarily or perpetually moved to a different place of residence.

2. Making decisions on changes of residence, accommodations, and allowance in the amount of a minimum wage, and employment arrangements shall be the responsibility of the authority assigning protection, in keeping with procedures determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. When temporarily moved to a new residence, the previous living accommodation shall be retained.

3. Changes of ID papers, appearance, and residence shall be effected only as petitioned for or agreed to by the person under protection and sanctioned by the public prosecutor or ruled by a court of law, except in an emergency, under circumstances when a threat to the life and safety of the person under protection cannot be eliminated using other means.

Article 14 – Enrolment in a Children's Preschool Educational or Social Welfare Institution

To secure protection of minors, in the presence of their parents' or legal representatives' consent, these minors may be temporarily enrolled in children's preschool educational institutions; as for disabled adults, they may be enrolled in social welfare institutions.

Article 15 – Securing Confidentiality of Information

The confidentiality of information about persons under protection shall be secured by:

Article 16 – Court Hearings in Camera

1. In certain circumstances, for reasons of security, court hearings involving persons under protection may be held in camera.

2. To secure protection of witnesses or victims to be interrogated, a court of law may, on its own initiative or as submitted by the public prosecutor's office or other participant in court hearings, pass a ruling stating the reasons and ordering such interrogation without the defendant being present. Given similar reasons and circumstances, one defendant may be interrogated with the others being absent. After a defendant is brought back to the courtroom the court shall familiarize him/her with the evidence received in this defendant's absence and allow this defendant to offer explanations on this evidence.

3. As an exception, a court of law may relieve witnesses or victims under protection from the obligation to report to a court hearing, provided they confirm their previous testimonies in writing.

Article 17 – Refusal of Protection by a Person Involved in Criminal Proceedings

1. If a person involved in criminal proceedings refuses protection stipulated by Articles 9; 11-16 hereinbefore, no security arrangements in regard to this person shall be made.

2. If the circumstances are such that grave consequences are likely to occur, the public prosecutor or court may sanction measures to protect such persons, their homes, and property using technical means of tracing and listening in on their telephone and other communications.

3. Persons refusing protection shall be informed about measures stipulated by Section 2 hereinabove, as well as about their right to appeal against them.


Chapter IV – Security Arrangements in Regard to Persons under Protection and their Cancellation

Article 20 – Circumstances and Reasons Warranting Protection Measures

1. Protection measures in regard to persons indicated in Article 2 hereinbefore shall be warranted by evidence pointing to an actual danger to their life, health, home, and property.

2. Protection measures in regard to persons involved in criminal proceedings, members of their families and close relatives shall be resorted to on the following grounds:


Article 25 – Answerability for Disclosure of Information on Security Arrangements

1. Disclosure of information on security arrangements by persons making decisions on such protection measures or by persons implementing them shall result in disciplinary punishments, and in criminal prosecution provided by law in cases when such disclosure causes grave consequences.

2. Disclosure of such information by a person placed under protection shall result in administrative proceedings or in criminal prosecution in cases when such disclosure causes or may cause grave consequences.