Updated 7:32 p.m. Moscow time
KIEV, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed into law a bill allowing to try in absentia his predecessor Viktor Yanukovych, presidential spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko said Tuesday.
“The president has signed a law paving the way for the trial of Yanukovych,” the spokesman wrote in his Twitter.
Yanukovych fled to Russia after being ousted in a coup in February. The erstwhile opposition that came into force accused him and other top state officials of graft and ordering mass killings of protesters.
The law, signed by Poroshenko, stipulates the inevitability of punishment for corruption offenses and crimes against national security, public safety.
"Starting from tomorrow, our public prosecution, investigative agencies and courts will finally have an opportunity to bring to justice those who robbed our people and make respective steps regarding their property gained in illegal way and regarding the arrest of their bank accounts. They must bear responsibility for the events provoked by them in Ukraine. They must be punished for their crimes against the people of Ukraine in full compliance with the Constitution and the international law," the statement on official presidential website said.
On October 7, Ukrainian parliament adopted a law, which allows the investigation and trial in absentia of individuals hiding abroad and suspected in crimes against national security.