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Yanukovich’s lawyer returns notice of suspicion against ex-president to prosecutor-general

December 09, 2016, 15:30 UTC+3 KIEV

Attorney Andrei Smirnov said that, "according to the order of notifying an individual of suspicion, a written notice must be handed over to him or her"

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KIEV, December 9. /TASS/. Viktor Yanukovich’s lawyer, Vitaly Serdyuk, has returned a notice of suspicion against the former Ukrainian president to the country’s Prosecutor-General, Yuri Lutsenko, a defense representative told reporters on Friday.

"My client has no status as a suspect in this case. I have just returned to Lutsenko the notice of suspicion, which was announced during a recess in the court session on the Berkut (special police force) case as announced inappropriately and handed over improperly," the lawyer explained.

On November 28, Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General, Yuri Lutsenko, read out a notice of suspicion of high treason against Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev’s Svyatoshinsky District Court. Yanukovich did not attend the court session taking part in it via a video conference. Lutsenko also said that an appropriate notice had been sent to Russia.

The move was questioned by Ukraine’s legal community. Attorney Andrei Smirnov told the Strana publication that, "according to the order of notifying an individual of suspicion, a written notice must be handed over to him or her." He noted that the prosecutor general’s remarks on sending a notice to Yanukovich by mail were pointless as well.

According to attorney and former Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister, Yuri Ivashchenko, the prosecutor-general did not familiarize himself with the Criminal Procedure Code, which regulates such activities, before reading out the notice. He also stressed that Yanukovich did not become a suspect after Lutsenko read out the notice, "as it was not handed over to him in a manner prescribed by law."

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