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Yanukovich’s lawyers warning will sue Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office

On November 29, 2016, Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko read out a notification on instituting a criminal case for Yanukovich

KIEV, March 10. /TASS/. Lawyers defending former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich are considering the possibility of a lawsuit against officials from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine if the latter refuse to take part in questioning Yanukovich on the territory of the Russian Federation, lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk said in a statement published by Ukrainskaya Pravda news portal.

"On July 13, 2016, Pechersky district court in Kiev passed a resolution where it answered our request and obliged the prosecutors to question Yanukovich in the country of sojourn," Serdyuk said.

"If the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office continues shirking cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation in the framework of international law, this will provide the grounds for bringing the prosecutorial officials to criminal liability for noncompliance with a court resolution," he said.

Ruslan Kravchenko, a spokesman for the Office of Ukraine’s Main Military Prosecutor said in an answer to a proposal from the Russian prosecutors on question Yanukovich in Russia in presence of Ukrainian investigators there would be "no questioning sessions outside of Ukraine".

On November 29, 2016, Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko read out a notification on instituting a criminal case for Yanukovich. He did it in the course of a court session hearing a case of the former officers of the Berkut riot police unit where Yanukovich was giving evidence by video conference.

Lutsenko accused Yanukovich of high treason and the Pechersky court authorized an investigation of the case in absentia.

Yanukovich’s lawyers call the court decision groundless. Specifically, the lawyers indicate that the act of indictment was not handed to their client in due manner and they demand that this be done in compliance with the Ukraine’s Code for Practice and in line with international regulations for legal assistance.

The latter regulations require that the Ukrainian authorities should send the act of indictment to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, which will then notify the person in question.

Since the Ukrainian prosecutors have not observed the regulations, the defense describes Yanukovich’s summoning to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine as legally groundless.