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Yanukovich requests face-to-face video link-up with Poroshenko, top Ukrainian officials

August 17, 19:03 UTC+3 KIEV
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich is accused of large-scale bribe-taking worth an equivalent of about $1 million between 2011 and 2012
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©  ITAR-TASS / Andrei Mosiyenko

KIEV, August 17. /TASS/. The lawyer of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has appealed to the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office to let Yanukovich, accused of large-scale bribe-taking, confront senior Ukrainian officials in face-to-face questioning via link-up.

The officials he requests to appear for the questioning are President Pyotr Poroshenko, former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, Speaker Andrei Parubiy, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Alexander Turchinov and Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klichko.

"An official motion (for face-to-face with Ukraine’s top officials) was entered to the General Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday (August 16)," Vitaly Serdyuk told Ukrainskaya Pravda edition on Wednesday.

Besides, the defense also requests an interrogation session with a number of other unnamed persons at the same time for testimony on the "Maidan case".

The defense asks for examination via a video-conference in court, as "only testimony in the court is decisive," Serdyuk explained.

At the same time, the edition said the Office’s department for special investigations has not received the motion of Yanukovich’s lawyer.

The Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office accuses Yanukovich of taking a bribe worth an equivalent of about $1 million between 2011 and 2012. The former president is charged with committing a crime under Article 368 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (gaining improper advantage by an official).

Viktor Yanukovich 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. Yanukovich was ousted from his presidential post and fled Ukraine.

The crisis embraced Ukraine when Yanukovich suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly. The move triggered mass riots that eventually led to a coup in February 2014.

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