KIEV, September 24. /TASS/. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s press-secretary, Yuri Kirasir, has said the Council of Europe’s sanctions against Yanukovich have been lifted.
"The European Court’s decision of September 24, 2019 on the lifting of sanctions from Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovich, for 2018-2019 is a confirmation their introduction by the EU authorities was unlawful and groundless and a solid reason for their fastest cancellation and exoneration of Yanukovich as an innocent victim of political repression in Ukraine and the European Union," Kirasir wrote on his Facebook page.
He pointed out that "for five years the former Ukrainian authorities and the Prosecutor-General’s Office subordinate to them conducted a large-scale campaign to misinform the people of Ukraine and the international community. In doing so they had no evidence to rely on, falsified evidence and imposed a myth about President Viktor Yanukovich’s alleged complicity in various crimes."
In the meantime during that period the authorities of many countries, including the EU members and Switzerland, officially confirmed that any bank accounts or other assets belonging to Yanukovich did not exist in their territory.
"The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office has officially confirmed that President Yanukovich is not accused of committing any economic or corruption crimes. President Yanukovich is not accused of organizing mass killings of law enforcers or demonstrators in Kiev in February 2014," Kirasir said. "On the contrary, there have been ever more frequent reports, including those from abroad and also from the affected participants of protests and other witnesses that mass killings were a well-planned monstrous provocation, staged by representatives of Maidan leaders for disrupting the agreement on a settlement of the political crisis and for the forced seizure of power." Kirasir said that currently the Obolon court’s ruling concerning Yanukovich was being considered by a court of appeal.
"By its latest decision the European Court has unequivocally confirmed that the charges brought against Yanukovich by his political opponents were groundless," Kirasir said, adding that lawyers would demand that all those responsible for political persecution and falsification of criminal cases be brought to justice.
Obolon court’s ruling
On January 24, Kiev’s Obolon court tried Yanukovich in absentia to find him guilty of high treason and complicity in conducting an aggressive war and sentenced him to thirteen years in jail. The court ruled that Yanukovich’s encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine was not proven. Yanukovich was absent from the courtroom, because since February 2014 he has resided in Russia.
Yanukovich’s lawyers said the court’s decision was groundless and made under pressure and lodged a protest. Kiev’s court of appeal on September 23 agreed to complement the case with a number of significant pieces of evidence presented by the defense and adjourned the hearings till September 30. At the same time the court turned down the lawyers’ request for letting Yanukovich participate in the case by means of video conferencing.