“Derkach’s tapes”: who benefits from this scandal?

Anna Malyar, Head of the Center for Legal and Criminological Research, analyzed the situation with “Derkach’s tapes“.

«Let’s break it down and pick the wheat from the chaff», the expert says.

  1. Some people at once deny the value of information because it was not published by moral authorities or heroes. When I read this, I always think that it’s really perfect that the policemen do not check the virtue, morality, and political literacy of an applicant, when it accepts a statement of crime. Because, in fact there is no difference. If a crime took place, it must be investigated anyway.
  2. The second way, which distracts the attention from the essence of the tape, is the announcement of counterparts who can benefit from the scandal – Russia, USA, the list can be continued, and the correspondent conclusion that the accusation of the participants in audio records is unpatriotic and will harm Ukraine. I’m afraid to disappoint you, but the damage comes not from the publication of the information about the crime, but from the crime itself. However, disclosure can be beneficial to anyone really, and, in fact, for this reason, different video and audio records are made public. If the goal was just a criminal prosecution, nobody would convene a press conference with a translation and slides, they would just apply to law enforcement bodies.
  1. One says that “Derkach’s films” have been disclosed National Security Information, but who will be responsible for this? If it was really classified information, then the state had to protect it. You probably know that there are three security grading, the order of access and usage of such information. If the state has failed to preserve it, this is a very bad signal of the state institutions’ unreliability. Persons who had working access to a state secret and passed it to outsiders, of course, should be responsible for this. Moreover, if a citizen of Ukraine, who had received classified information, passed it to a foreign state, organizations, or their representatives, this action is a form of treason, namely – spying.
  1. Now let’s talk about the voices of “Derkach’s films” participants, i.e. about the voices, sounding like the voices of Poroshenko and Biden. Their talks have the signs of corruption crime, particularly – an abuse of powers by the voice, which is similar to the Poroshenko’s one. Why do I use the expression “sound like”? Since only the expert evaluation can tell exactly who the voices’ owners are. Then, just a court has the right to say whether a crime had taken place or not. We only assume. Perhaps, there are also the signs of other crimes in these “tapes”, but it does not stem from those records which have been already made public.
  1. About the legal perspective of these “tapes”. I reiterate that not all you see and hear can be put into evidence. In order to make these records the evidence in the criminal process, it is necessary to conduct a lot of evaluations and confirm the voices owners, the executor, the place of the conversation recording, and if the technical corrections in the records have taken place or not. Further one will have to analyze not only the passages that were made public, but also the whole conversation to understand the context. Then, it is necessary to check the authenticity of the conversation, and thus to find the evidence that everything which have been said took place in real life.
  1. Meanwhile, the legal perspective usually isn’t the purpose of such a disclosure, because in Ukraine no loud trial or investigation were executed successfully, the cases are just going to pieces. And those, who publish such information, are aware of this very well. Therefore, the main purpose of such leaks is political. These are irreparable reputational losses. As a prosecutor and a judge need an evaluation to confirm whose votes they are, but people who just listen to it, don’t need any examinations. They just believe their ears and eyes. And that’s enough. This is the goal. Thus, the legal perspectives can be discussed to fill the information space, but does it really make sense?

Natalia Tolub

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