06:16 GMT04 April 2020
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    153
    Subscribe

    The investigation into alleged treason of former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, which had been conducted in absentia, was terminated due to the lack of grounds, and will continue according to standard procedure, with Yanukovich's participation, the ex-president's lawyers said Tuesday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — When a standard probe is carried out, the suspect takes part in all investigative actions, including questioning and re-enactments. However, in cases where the suspect is hiding from law enforcement, an investigation in absentia is initiated. Under Ukrainian criminal law, probes conducted in the suspect's absence are also applicable when he or she is hiding abroad.

    "The probe into Viktor Yanukovich was closed in compliance with [Ukrainian Criminal Procedural Code], which stipulates that if the grounds for pre-trial investigation in absentia 'stopped existing,' from then on, the pre-trial probe is carried out according to the standard procedure," Aver Lex law firm said in a statement, citing the ex-president's lawyer, Vitaliy Serdyuk.

    According to Serdyuk, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine received confirmation of Yanukovych's current residence address from their Russian counterparts, and therefore had no reason to carry out the probe in absentia.

    "Any attempts to continue conducting investigation in absentia will be a crime and a breach of a person's right to defense, guaranteed under the Ukrainian and international law," Serdyuk was quoted as saying.

    In late November 2016, Yanukovych testified in the case of the 2014 Maidan uprising in Ukraine via a video conference with Kiev. During the hearing, it was announced that the former president was suspected of treason.

    Viktor Yanukovych testifies via video link during trial into February 2014 unrest in Kiev
    © Sputnik / Sergey Pivovarov
    Viktor Yanukovych testifies via video link during trial into February 2014 unrest in Kiev

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

    During the clashes between the security forces and the protesters, more than 100 people died. New Ukrainian authorities headed by President Petro Poroshenko put the blame on Yanukovych.

    Yanukovych, who is currently residing in Russia, testified in the case of the 2014 Maidan uprising through a video linkup with Kiev. During the hearing, it was announced that Yanukovych was suspected of treason.

    Tags:
    treason, investigation, Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook