As noted by the Deputy Speaker of the parliament Oksana Syroyid, the deputies’ immunity can be lifted without any changes to the Constitution. She explains that the key thing about the immunity is not just a protection against imprisonment, as people often think; the most valuable is the investigation procedure.
“The thing is that because of the fact that today it is impossible to conduct an investigation in relation to MPs, every time the Prosecutor General suggests lifting someone’s immunity, this is a signal for one or another lawmaker either to run away (just like Kliuyev did) or quickly come to terms with the Prosecutor General (just like many other MPs have done).”
Does the Constitution prohibit investigative actions? No, it doesn’t. Because MPs cannot be prosecuted without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada. But criminal liability starts after the completion of the investigative actions.
What prohibits investigative actions? In fact, these are just a couple of regulations in the Criminal Procedure Code, in the law on the status of MPs, in the law on the regulations of the Verkhovna Rada and in the law on entering and leaving the territory of Ukraine.
Back in 2016, Samopomich proposed a bill that could amend these 10 articles and then it would have been possible to carry out investigative actions against all deputies without changing the Constitution.
Syroyid notes: “The deputies themselves withdrew the Samopomich’s bill from the agenda and now they are deceiving people by introducing yet new bills on amendments to the Constitution, realizing that they will never be adopted.”
The present decision is simple – amending several laws, instead of amending the Constitution.