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KIEV, March 31. /TASS/. A court in Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, is expected to begin hearings of a criminal case against the city mayor, Gennady Kernes, who is accused of kidnapping and torturing people, Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Minister said on Monday.
"On March 31, the Dzerzhinsky district court in Kharkiv will hold a preparatory session for considering on merits the case against Kharkiv mayor Gennady Kernes, who is accused of kidnapping and torturing members of the 'Kharkiv Euromaidan' and the threats to kill them," Gerashchenko wrote on his page in Facebook.
Ukraine's Supreme Specialized Court on Tuesday will hear a petition by the Prosecutor General's Office to relocate the hearings of Kernes case to a different part of Ukraine from Kharkiv.
The Prosecutor General's Office submitted an indictment on Kernes case to court on March 26. If his guilt is proved, he will face a jail term of five to ten years.
Charges with illegal depriving of freedom, tortures and threats of murder were issued against Kernes in March 2014 and Kiev's Pechersky district court partly restricted his freedom of traveling then. However, after he survived an assassination attempt and received critical wounds last April, the pretrial restrictive measure for him was revised so that he could go to Israel for a course of treatment.
Pretrial investigation of his case was suspended at the end of last July.