MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's Prosecutor General's Office turned down Kiev's request to detain former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2015-2016, finding political motives in Ukraine's attempts to have him prosecuted, the office's spokesman, Alexander Kurennoy, said Monday.
Last month, the office said it had not received any requests on extraditing Yanukovych, alongside a number of other former Ukrainian officials, to Ukraine, adding that any such requests would be considered in the light of international law.
"I inform you that in 2015-2016 requests were received from Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office… on temporary detention… of Yanukovych prior to receiving requests on his extradition… The requests were dismissed for reasons envisioned by Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the European Convention on Extradition of 13.12.1957, and the Ukrainian side was informed of that," Kurennoy told Sputnik.
In late November 2016, Yanukovych, 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 Yanukovych was suspected of treason.
Yanukovych was ousted in February 2014 after mass protests erupted at Kiev's Maidan square that led to the deaths of many protesters, security officers and ordinary citizens. New Ukrainian authorities put the blame on Yanukovych.