Roman Ivanisov, a lawmaker with the Servant of the People party of President Volodymyr Zelensky, will be expelled from the party for his past criminal conviction on rape charges.
Photo by Ivanisov/facebook
Roman Ivanisov, a lawmaker with President Volodymyr Zelensky’s ruling Servant of the People party, will be excluded from the party and its parliamentary faction after it was revealed that he had served prison time on rape charges.
On Nov. 15, former lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk revealed that Ivanisov had served two years behind bars for a gang rape he committed in the mid-1990s at the age of 17.
By the time he was elected to parliament in 2019, Ivanisov’s criminal record had expired, allowing him to legally participate in the election.
After Mosiychuk’s announcement, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Ruslan Riaboshapka, also confirmed Ivanisov’s criminal record. According to media reports, the lawmaker’s unidentified victim and a guard at the Mariupol prison where he served his sentence also confirmed the details of the crime.
Ivanisov has called the revelations a smear campaign and claimed to have had no criminal record.
The revelation triggered a public uproar. As a result, on Nov. 21, President Zelensky vowed to force Ivanisov to abandon his parliamentary mandate and leave the party if an official inquiry proved he was guilty of the crime.
Late on Nov. 25, the Servant of the People faction resolved to expel Ivanisov from its ranks.
“The decision on suspension will be officially declared by the Verkhovna Rada speaker during the upcoming plenary session,” deputy faction leader Yenheniya Kravchuk said.
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