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Ukraine Dispatch: “‘Negotiations’ is not the right word at all for what is happening” – JURIST

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Law students and young lawyers in the Ukraine are sending dispatches to JURIST on the latest developments in that country as it defends itself from the Russian invasion. Here, Illia Fedin, a Kharkiv-based lawyer, comments on the Ukraine-Russia peace/ceasefire talks. The text has only been slightly edited to respect the author’s voice. While Ukrainian superheroes have continued to fight fierce Russian troops for more than a month, the country’s political leaders are trying to find a way to stop the battles as soon as possible. This path recently took them to Istanbul, Turkey, where negotiations between representatives of Ukraine and Russia took place on March 29. But “negotiations” is not at all the right word for what is happening. Just think of how the criminal law of Europe, the US, or other Western countries would characterize a person who tries to force another person to give him or her a piece of their property, while at the same time putting a gun to their mouth. head. This would definitely not be “negotiations”. But that’s what we have here. However, it appears that both sides have declared some progress. That’s a good sign, but it’s misleading. Russia’s actions speak louder than its words. We cannot see Russia’s commitment to the peace talks process. Military methods remain a priority, because the bombing of Ukrainian cities and towns continues. The Ukrainian side shows readiness to discuss sensitive issues such as the Crimean issue and the state of neutrality. The population of Ukraine also mainly supports what the government says in the negotiations. That is a huge point for our country, and such support can be decisive in this war (by the way, Ukrainians take offense when the war is called “conflict” or “crisis” or something like that; war is war, and other the names are just part of the Russian propaganda/disinformation). We can also see constructive engagements from Ukraine. You can continue talking when the Russian troops are where they were on February 23. This means that Crimea and the occupied part of Donbas are still under Russian control. Unpleasant, but this positio is necessary to stop the battles. The state of neutrality is not a problem at the moment, but Ukraine is looking for guarantees (and guarantors) of non-aggression from Russia. The ball is on the side of the European and American partners. Can they be participants in a possible peace treaty? Finally, we have to admit that these peace talks were the result of the courage of the Ukrainian soldiers and the coordinated acts of our Western partners. These components can provide a winnable situation for Ukraine, both in the process of peace talks and on the battlefield. So let us bring the victory of justice over tyranny closer. Correspondent’s note: This text was written before the withdrawal of the Russian occupiers from the kyiv region and photographs of Bucha. So it may not be fully applied now. At the same time, on April 4, V. Zelenskyy visited Bucha and saw with his own eyes the inhumane crimes committed by the Russians there. Responding to journalists’ questions about the possibility of continuing peace talks with Russia, Zelenskyy said: “Yes, because Ukraine has to be at peace. We are in the Europe of the 21st century. We will continue to make diplomatic and military efforts.”

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Trump Affiliated Businessman Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Political Donation Crimes – JURIST

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The Justice Department said Wednesday that Lev Parnas, a businessman involved in the Trump-Ukraine affair, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on multiple counts related to soliciting donations from a foreign national. Parnas was convicted on charges of “conspiring to make political contributions of a foreign national in conjunction with soliciting and aiding and abetting the making thereof, conspiracy to make fictitious donations, participation in a wire fraud conspiracy, and making false statements and falsifying records. Parnas will also pay more than $2 million in restitution. The charges of making political contributions by a foreign national stem from events that occurred in March 2018. Parnas and other associates wanted to launch a business to obtain retail marijuana licenses in the US. The group turned over hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions before the 2018 election to curry favor with anyone who could help Parnas and his associates obtain these licenses. Parnas and an associate made a donation of $325,000 and falsely claimed that the donation was from Global Power Producers (GEP). Parnas also lied about the fact that he was receiving bogus donations and the contributions were not his own money. The fraud guarantee charges are from between 2012 and 2019. Parnas planned to defraud several people by convincing them to invest in his company. He said the contributions would be used solely for his business. Instead, the payments were withdrawn in cash, placed in personal bank accounts, and used for personal expenses. Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated: “Parnas also defrauded the American public by pumping Russian money into US elections and lying about the origin of funds for political contributions. My office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who put their personal and financial benefit above their country and their investors.” The office’s Public Corruption Unit is handling the Parnas case.

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Indonesian parliament passes law to create more provinces in Papua amid fears of government crackdown – JURIST

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The Indonesian People’s Representative Council on Thursday approved legislation to establish three new provinces in the Papua region. The decision was made during the 26th plenary session when all members unanimously agreed to pass three bills that established the new provinces. Currently, the easternmost region of Indonesia is divided into two regions, Papua and West Papua. However, it will now be divided into five provinces. The three new provinces have been named, South Papua Province with Merauke as its capital, Central Papua Province with Nabire as its capital, and Papua Mountains Province with Jaya wijaya as its capital. Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung, Chairperson of the Council Commission, stated that: The purpose of partitioning Papua is to speed up equitable development, speed up the improvement of public services, speed up community welfare and uplift the dignity of the indigenous people of Papua. Papua. Taking into account political, administrative and legal aspects, socio-cultural unity, human resource preparation, basic infrastructure, economic capacity, future developments and aspirations of the Papuan people. Veronica Koman of Amnesty International Australia expressed concern about how the legislation would affect Papuans. She said that by “cutting and dividing Papua into smaller administrative units, [the Indonesian government] hopes to divide and conquer Papuan identity and resistance.”

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German court sentences 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard to 5 years in prison – JURIST

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Germany’s Neuruppin Regional Court in Brandenburg on Tuesday convicted a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard of 3,518 counts of accessory to murder and sentenced him to five years in prison. Former SS guard Josef Schuetz was indicted for his involvement in the “execution by firing squad of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942” and for operating the gas chambers at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Josef denied all the alleged charges and claimed that he worked as a farm laborer near Pasewalk in northeast Germany. However, the court began the trial last year in October. Judge Udo Lechtermann noted that the defendant “voluntarily supported mass extermination” in his role. He further said: The court is satisfied that you worked as a guard in the concentration camp for about three years, despite your claims to the contrary. You saw how deported people were cruelly tortured and killed there every day for three years. Sachsenhausen saw 200,000 people imprisoned, with at least 30,000 deaths. Joseph is considered the oldest person to be convicted of Holocaust crimes. Previously, a 93-year-old former guard was convicted of 5,232 murders and a 95-year-old former field secretary was charged with 10,000 counts of accessory to murder, rulings pending. Joseph can appeal his sentence to the Federal Court of Justice within a week.

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