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No treason charges handed to Yanukovich to this day, defense lawyer says

April 10, 18:31 UTC+3 KIEV

According to the defense, this fact alone is evidence the decision to hand over Yanukovich’s case to court was illegal

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KIEV, April 10. /TASS/. Defense lawyers of Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovich believe that the decision to hand over his high treason case to court is illegal, because no notification of official charges has been presented to him yet.

"The Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office in a letter of April 7, 2017 said that the notification of high treason charges has not been handed to Yanukovich to this day," the press-service of the Aver-Leks legal firm quoted lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk as saying.

The defense says this fact alone is evidence the decision to hand over Yanukovich’s case to court was illegal.

"The legal proceedings started with multiple breaches of the law. Apart from crude violations of human rights committed by the Prosecutor-General’s Office during the pre-trial investigation we can see that the trial is being fast-tracked, although no legal grounds for it exist at all," Serdyuk said.

"The notification of the charges and the bill of indictment have not been handed to the accused yet. The chance of receiving Yanukovich has been denied, too," Serdyuk said, adding that "no grounds or opportunities for starting trial exist at the moment."

Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Yuri Lutsenko at November 28, 2016 court hearings on the case of former members of the Berkut crack police, in which Yanukovich testified via video link, read out a notification addressed to Ukraine’s former president and accused him of high treason.

A court in Kiev on January 20 approved Yanukovich’s trial in absentia. Earlier, his defense insisted on terminating the special in absentia investigation procedures and probing into the high treason charges in the ordinary mode.

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