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Crimean leader accused of high treason says ready to testify in Ukrainian court

October 31, 12:06 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

The Crimean leader, who formerly served as a member of the Supreme Council of Crimea, has mocked Ukraine’s allegations of high treason

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SIMFEROPOL, October 31. /TASS/. Crimean leader Sergey Aksyonov, who is accused of high treason by Kiev, told reporters on Tuesday he is prepared to testify in the Ukrainian court via video conference.

The speaker of Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, and former Crimean prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya, who is now MP of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament), are also accused of high treason in Ukraine.

Lawyer Maxim Mogilnitsky said earlier that all three politicians were ready to testify.

Speaking on his wish to give testimony via video conference in Russia, Aksyonov said he wants to show Ukraine that Crimeans cannot be tried in court for their legal choice to rejoin Russia during a referendum.

The Crimean leader, who formerly served as a member of the Supreme Council of Crimea, has mocked Ukraine’s allegations of high treason. "It is even funny to read this nonsense. I pay no attention to this."

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of Kiev authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The Russian president signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

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