Each crime which goes unpunished is a sentence to all society
Victoria Shcherbyna can still not understand how one terrible day, 9 August 1999 her life was so destroyed. A young student, enjoying her life, awaiting the birth of her child, lost everything – the baby, her health. Since that day she has been unable to walk and has first group disability status. She lives off 800 UAH (less than 80 Euros) a month, and the person guilty of causing the accident pays nothing in compensation.
The accident happened on the Odessa – Kyiv road at around 10 in the evening of 9 August, 1999. Victoria was thrown 3 metres from the car. She was taken unconscious and seriously injured to hospital without waiting for the ambulance.
The driver who caused the accident tried to claim that the passenger who had died in the crash was driving, however nobody believed him.
5 years later the driver, whose speeding shattered the lives of three families was sentenced to 7 years but with an amnesty applied.
The victims have never received any compensation from the culprit who at the time of the crash was the Head of the Tax Inspectorate of the Illichivsk District in Odessa, and was later to become the Head of a department of the Odessa Regional State Tax Administration, i.e. a high-ranking and by no means poor public official. During the four years that the criminal investigation took, he managed to sell all property – the car involved in the accident, his flat in Odessa and dacha on the coast.
The investigators systematically violated legislation. No injunction was placed on his property, the procedural time limits were drawn out, with the investigation and court proceedings last over 6 years.
Nor were the victims only the passenger who was killed and the two young women who were seriously injured. Victoria also lost her baby and she herself will never walk again.
According to a court order she has the right to monthly compensation, however all writs bounce back like a boomerang, without being enforced.
All court proceedings in Ukraine have proven futile. The only hope is now in the European Court of Human Rights.
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