15:18 GMT03 August 2020
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    The trial of Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych on treason will start in the first quarter of 2017 if a court allows the Prosecutor General's Office to launch a pretrial investigation in absentia, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko said Tuesday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — The Pechersky District Court in Kiev is currently considering the appeal of the Prosecutor General's Office for a permission to launch a pretrial investigation in absentia over Yanukovich's case.

    "I am looking forward the permission of the Pechersky District Court in Kiev to launch the pretrial investigation in absentia. Taking into account that we have a few materials and witnesses, I expect that Yanukovich will receive the materials with results of the pretrial investigation in the coming months, and the trial will start after this. I expect it will happen in the first quarter of 2017," Lutsenko said at a briefing.

    According to Lutsenko, if the court announced the guilty verdict against Yanukovich, the state will confiscate all his assets in Ukraine.

    In late November, Yanukovich, who is currently residing in Russia, testified in the case on the 2014 Maidan uprising via a video linkup with Kiev. During the hearing, it was announced that Yanukovich was suspected of treason.

    Mass protests erupted in Ukraine after Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union. The government of Yanukovych was toppled after months of protests in Kiev's landmark Maidan square in February 2014.

    During the clashes between the security forces and the protesters more than a hundred people died. New Ukrainian authorities headed by President Petro Poroshenko put the blame on Yanukovych.


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