Defense attorneys for ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich applied to leaders of major European countries and international institutions demanding action be taken to protect human rights in Ukraine.
Failure to allow delivery of closing arguments by President Victor Yanukovich in court on December 5th, 2018, and hasty retreat of the judges into the deliberation room is another confirmation of violations of the supremacy of law and basic norms of human rights.
This trial initially had nothing to do with fairness and legality. In fact we have witnessed a clumsy effort of political revenge of the government against its political opponent and millions of his supporters.
The compromised nature of the rule of law in Ukraine makes Western partners of Ukraine suspect that human rights abuses will continue to escalate.
In person of Victor Yanukovich the Ukrainian government violated rights of millions of Ukrainians who had voted for him. The government again tried to divide Ukrainians into two sorts, putting those who stood against Maidan and who disagreed with the coup d’etat into a “secondary rate” citizens. This trial became a vivid reminder that people with alternative opinion can not count for law or justice in Ukraine, or for a chance to be heard.
Each can understand who “managed” this trial and gave orders to the judges of Obolon district court of the city of Kiev to violate the law. These people rushed to announce a “fair and legal decision”, which will be made “in the nearest future”. They will wave the court’s decision in each of their interview. They will remind about it in each pre-election ad that they run in the media. And their paid “bloggers” and “experts” will praise this legal anarchy in their comments.
Despite extremely strong pressure by the government, this trial reminded millions of Ukrainians the circumstances of the anti-constitutional military coup d’etat of 2014.
The chain of tragic events in the modern history of Ukraine started specifically with the Maidan massacre, organized by representatives of the current government. Their purpose was undermining of the Agreement on settlement of the political crisis, signed by President Yanukovich on February 21, 2014 and guaranteed by EU countries.
Victor Yanukovich agreed to major concessions, including having snap presidential elections, in hope for de-escalation of the confrontation, and implemented his part of the conditions stipulated by the Agreement. Despite it, on February 22, 2014, the opposition usurped power in the country by means of anti-constitutional coup d’etat.
It was the coup d’etat that became a catalyst of events in Crimea and Donbass. The trial made it possible to document valuable self-incriminating evidence by organizers of the coup d’etat and their co-conspirators. The nation saw how people who used to be “Maidan leaders” during the questioning in court openly accused each other of surrendering Crimea.
In essence we’ve received evidence base against the individuals who are truly responsible for loss of Crimea and beginning of the military action in Donbass, which led to great number of victims among the peaceful population. For the first time in Ukraine’s history Armed forces, heavy military weapons, armored vehicles, missile systems and military aviation were used against its own people. All these events were happening with the former US Administration being fully aware about them.
The evidence given in court will have particular value when rule of law returns to Ukraine, and a fair court will objectively look at all the circumstances of this national catastrophe, which has become the worst in Ukraine’s history.
The blame for this national tragedy lies with those, who were dividing government positions in February 2014, and not thinking about the national unity. The blame lies with those people who paid for the opportunity of being in government and for the good of their foreign patrons with lives of Ukrainians and Ukraine’s territories.
During the five years that followed the coup d’etat we all were witnesses to the collapse of the state, loss of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, impoverishment of people, corruption in the top levels of government and complete breakdown of the system of justice.
As a result of this catastrophe, the Ukrainian people obtained only suffering and poverty. The main beneficiaries where top of the Ukrainian department, oligarchs who supported it, and their patrons from the former US Administration.
President Yanukovich’ legal team has thoroughly documented all the grave violations of the principle of supremacy of law and the Constitution of Ukraine, and will use them in further litigation in Ukraine and abroad. The scope of illegal methods that are used to by the government against President Yanukovich is unprecedented. It is very similar to other examples of people who are subject to political persecution by the Ukraine’s government.
It is apparent that this trial is a result and a vivid example of complete destruction of the principles of supremacy of law in Ukraine. Western partners of Ukraine are concerned that the integrity of the ongoing trial of President Yanukovich does not comply with accepted standards insuring fairness and procedural integrity. Neither the people of Ukraine or the rest of the civilized world will believe in the objectivity of the court’s verdict.
Taking into account the aforesaid, we request that the following action is taken by you with the purpose of protecting basic human rights in Ukraine, restoring democracy and supremacy of law:
Hoping for your responsible and principled stance on this matter,