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Yanukovich’s lawyer slams ruling on ex-Ukrainian leader’s trial in absentia as unlawful

August 03, 13:10 UTC+3 KIEV

According to the attorney, Yanukovich had been subpoenaed to all court hearings by publishing the summons in the Pravitelstvenny Kurier newspaper

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Viktor Yanukovich

Viktor Yanukovich

© Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS

KIEV, August 3. /TASS/. Defense attorney of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, Vitaly Meshechek, has said that the trial in absentia against his client in the high treason case is illegitimate.

"The decision on the trial in absentia is illegal, since Yanukovich was not subpoenaed to court," he said in Kiev’s Obolonsky District Court on Thursday.

Meshechek noted that Yanukovich had been subpoenaed to all court hearings by publishing the summons in the Pravitelstvenny Kurier newspaper. "This is a violation of both domestic and international law," he stressed, adding that "the summons should be sent to one’s place of residence."

"Since the court found out that Yanukovich is in Russia, it was necessary to send an inquiry there as part of international legal assistance and ensure Yanukovich’s participation in the trial for the video conferences," the attorney said.

He asked to put off the case’s hearing until a reply from Russia is received and postpone the court hearings scheduled for August, because he did not have enough time to familiarize himself with all the case files. Meshechek added that he had no opportunity to meet with his client. "I have not been in touch with the former president," he said.

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