On January 23 at 10:00 a.m. in Lviv’s Frankivsk District Court proceedings were instituted against a professor at UCU, Fr. Mykhajlo Dymyd. He is accused of failing to stop at the request of a traffic police officer on December 29, 2013, at 12:30 p.m. in the village Novi Petrivtsi (Kyiv region), when a convoy of vehicles (AutoMaidan) drove to Mezhyhirya, although at that time he was still near the EuroMaidan in Kyiv.
“The fact is that on December 29 at 12:30 p.m. I was not in Novi Petrivtsi. And for this reason, I could not have not stopped at the request of the inspector at that place and at that time. At 12:40 p.m. I was still near Khreschatyk Hotel behind the barricades on Maidan with friends and others. Witnesses can be found. At 12:41 p.m. the last passengers arrived and climbed into my car. This can be confirmed by the mobile operator for at that moment I was talking on my telephone,” said Fr. Mykhajlo Dymyd.
On January 4, 2014, representatives of the Lviv’s traffic police paid a visit to Fr. Myhajlo at his home. They had a report that on December 29, 2013, Fr. Mykhajlo did not stop at the request a traffic police officer. They had no further evidence. On January 9, the case was taken up by the Frankivsk District Court in Lviv. Judge Rostyslav Kozyurenko called for a hearing to be held on January 23.
The community of the Ukrainian Catholic University will do everything possible to protect their faculty from the traffic police’s accusations.
“It seems today that any person whose behavior or even opinion is not liked by the government can find himself in similar situation as Fr. Mykhajlo Dymyd. What prevents the traffic police from issuing violations left and right? Do they still have any remnants of a conscience? Fr. Mykhailo was there, where he was led by his priestly vocation – among the people on the Maidan, who needed the Word of God and spiritual care. This is not liked by those who believe that people are not free citizens, but part of the human mass. But we all have to remember that in addition to the human judgment, there is God’s judgment and God’s will. Fr. Mykhajlo performed, performs, and will perform his priestly ministry before them,” said the first vice rector of UCU, Taras Dobko.
Dorozhniy Kontrol (Road Control) in Lviv will provide Fr. Mykhajlo legal aid and defend his interests before the judge.
A person who failures to stop a motor vehicle at the request of a police officer can, by court order, be deprived of the right to operate a vehicle for a period of three to six months. Recently in Ukraine, there have been more cases where judges have confiscated driver’s licenses without any evidence other than the police report.