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Ukraine’s ex-leader to initiate case over right to defend in court

December 28, 2016, 5:07 UTC+3 KIEV

A Kiev district court has turned down Yanukovich’s appeal to question him in the videoconference regime earlier Tuesday

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Viktor Yanukovich

Viktor Yanukovich

© Valery Matytsin/TASS

KIEV, December 28. /TASS/. The defense of ousted Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, is set to initiate criminal proceedings into the reported violation of the former leader’s right to defend himself in court after a judge ruled out questioning via video linkup.

The former president took shelter in Russia after being ousted in a state coup in 2014. He was charged with numerous offences in his home country, including on abuse of power and high treason.

‘The court’s decision (to rule out questioning via a video linkup) is a criminal one, because it deprives Viktor Yanukovich of his right to provide the testimony he deems necessary in the ongoing state treason trial," lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk said.

He added that he would "initiate a criminal case and will take all necessary legal measures to oblige the Prosecutor General’s Office and the court to hear Yanukovich’s testimony in the state treason case."

A Kiev district court has turned down Yanukovich’s appeal to question him in the videoconference regime earlier Tuesday, substantiating its refusal by saying "once there is a lawyer, there is no point in questioning the accused." Serdyuk said he is sure the court’s ruling was passed under political pressure.

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