Kyiv Post | 14Jan2010 | Interfax-Ukraine

Yushchenko initiates creation of international tribunal for Communist crimes

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko said he is convinced the decision made by the Kyiv Court of Appeals in the case involving the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine will become a precedent for changing the approaches to the definition of genocide in international law and is calling for the creation of an international tribunal for Communist crimes.

Yushchenko has proposed to the leaders of the countries of Eastern Europe hurt by Communist regimes (Russia, Poland, Georgia, the Baltic states, etc.) to sign an international agreement on the creation of such a tribunal outlining the principles of its creation and activities, and charter, the Ukrainian presidential press service reported on Jan. 14.

Yushchenko recalled that the Kyiv Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 issued a ruling in the criminal case investigated by the Ukrainian Security Service involving the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine, which is believed to have killed millions of Ukrainian peasants.

"The decision made by the Ukrainian court takes the debate on the Holodomor from a political to a legal realm. Now the only argument in this debate can be facts, not political or historical stereotypes and myths," the president said.

Yushchenko also said he is convinced that this ruling "is an additional argument for the Ukrainian parliament in favor of introducing criminal liability for denying crimes against humanity."

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