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Attorney asks human rights institutions to monitor legal actions against Yanukovich

March 13, 19:17 UTC+3
The Ukrainian prosecutor-general accused the ex-president of high treason
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© Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS

KIEV, March 13. /TASS/. The counsel for the defense of ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has urged international human rights organizations to openly monitor legal processes initiated against him, Yanukovych’s attorney Vitaly Serdyuk told TASS on Monday.

"We have initiated the monitoring of this process [against Yanukovich] by all international human rights organizations," the attorney said.

The law association Aver Lex, where Serdyuk is a partner and an attorney, said that "the counsel for the defense of Viktor Yanukovich has turned with open letters to Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada human rights envoy, Transparency International, Amnesty International, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and other human rights institutions with a request to hold open monitoring of judicial proceedings against him, including the high treason case."

The letters also contain a request "to respond to the gross violations by the Ukrainian state bodies of his [Yanukovich’s] rights to defense and respond to his constant political persecution."

The counsel for the defense argues it has provided proofs that the Ukrainian authorities are deliberately ignoring article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights "Right to a Fair Trial" and article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (a person is presumed innocent until proved guilty).

"A precedent is being created in Ukraine contrary to national and international norms for investigating the case without the participation of the person and with his deliberate deprivation of the possibility to give testimony and defense himself personally," Serdyuk said.

At a court hearing on the case of Ukraine’s former Berkut elite anti-riot police held on November 28, 2016 where Yanukovich was giving testimony via a video link, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko read out a notice to the ex-president on opening a case against him.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General accused the ex-president of high treason. Kiev’s Pechyorsky District Court allowed on January 20 a pre-judicial investigation against Yanukovich in absentia. Overall, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has opened eight criminal cases against Yanukovich.

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