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    Yanukovych to Stand Trial in Absentia Preserving Procedural Rights

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    Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych will be tried in absentia preserving all the procedural rights, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said Tuesday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Ukrainian military prosecutor's office sent the materials of Yanukovych's treason case to the court.

    "As of today, in accordance with the court decision and the Ukrainian legislation, Viktor Yanukovych, who is hiding in Russia, will be tried in absentia. He will have the defense and all the procedural rights except for being present in the court, avoiding it due to his personal fear," Lutsenko said at a briefing.

    Lutsenko noted that the prosecutor's office did not intend to change the format of the trial in absentia if Yanukovych would not arrive in Kiev, since the in-person proceedings were possible only in case of his presence in the court.

    In 2013-2014, Kiev's landmark Maidan square witnessed months of the pro-European protests sparked by then President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement. In February 2014, the government was toppled, while violent clashes with law enforcement officials claimed the lives of some 100 civilians. The current Ukrainian authorities blame Yanukovych for the deaths.

    In November 2016, Yanukovych testified in the case of the 2014 Maidan uprising via a video conference with Kiev. The hearing concluded that Yanukovych was suspected of treason.


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