Nadiya Savchenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament and of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the 2015 session, has been illegally detained in the Russian Federation since June 2014.Nadiya’s lawyer Ilya Novikov unveiled the Russian Foreign Ministry’s instructions to the Investigation Committee, which distort the basic immunity principles of PACE.
In its classified letter, the Russian MFA states that Nadiya Savchenko cannot enjoy PACE immunities since crimes of which she is accused were carried out before she was elected a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE.
Russia’s incorrect interpretation of international law is nothing but a lame attempt to justify itself.
What you need to know about Nadiya’s immunity as a member of PACE:
1. Nadiya Savchenko enjoys “European” parliamentary immunity as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since ratification of the credentials of the Ukrainian delegation on 26 January 2015. With effect from the ratification of credentials, Savchenko can no longer be subject to any detention or prosecution measures.
2. Immunity of members of the Assembly also extends to any proceedings initiated against them before the beginning of their parliamentary mandate, in connection with acts carried out by the member before the start of his or her term of office in the Assembly, with the effect that any ongoing proceedings are suspended for the duration of the term of office.
3. The parliamentary immunity of a member of the Assembly must be waived before his or her freedom can be restricted; the Assembly alone is able to waive the immunity of a member.