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Ukraine’s Security Service accuses former president of usurping power

April 09, 2015, 17:12 UTC+3 KIEV

Ukraine’s Security Service is planning to question more than 100 people in connection with the criminal case against Ukraine's ousted president Viktor Yanukovych

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Viktor Yanukovych

Viktor Yanukovych

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

KIEV, April 9 /TASS/. Ukraine’s Security Service has initiated criminal proceedings against Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, on charges of usurping power, Vasily Vovk, the head of the service’s main investigative department, told journalists on Thursday.

"A man called Yanukovych took up the office of president early in 2010. His plan was to usurp power - to use illegal ways to seize power by acting in cahoots with his accomplices - straight from the outset," Vovk said.

"The plot was supposed to be carried out in three stages: the creation of a coalition in Verkhovna Rada [parliament]; amendments to the country’s judicial system and more importantly, the return of the 1996 Constitution. That is how the power usurpation plan came into force against the interests of the people and public," Vovk said adding that Yanukovych’s actions had really caused huge damage to the country.

Vovk said that Ukraine’s Security Service was planning to question more than 100 people in connection with Yanukovych’s case, which would be heard in international courts.

Commenting on the security service's decision to initiate criminal proceedings against Viktor Yanukovych, Russian lawyer Mikhail Barshchevsky called it a consequence of revolutionary legal consciousness.

"I find it hard to comment on this legal precedent from the legal point of view because there is only one explanation to it - revolutionary legal consciousness when no laws except for the principle of revolutionary expediency work," Barshchevsky, who is the Russian government’s representative at the Russian Constitutional Court, told TASS on Thursday.

He added that it in the case with Ukraine it would be wrong to talk about any breaches of the law, which simply did not exist. "Such things are possible in any unstable and undemocratic states," the lawyer explained.

Viktor Yanukovych ran for president of Ukraine twice. In 2004, after the so-called ‘orange revolution’, he had to hand over his presidential chair to opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. However, he won the presidential election race in 2010 to become the fourth president of Ukraine. All international observers and organizations linked to the elections recognized the 2010 presidential elections in Ukraine to be valid. The heads of foreign countries congratulated Yanukovich on his election. Not a single country had ever argued the legitimacy of Yanukovich’s stay in power before the Maidan protests broke out in Kiev in 2013 eventually changing power in Ukraine. Yanukovych was ousted from his presidential post and fled Ukraine.

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