Janus-faced Yanukovych: A witness or a suspect?

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ex-president Yanukovych is involved in several criminal cases, in particular on the organization of a criminal group and abuse of power. This time he was questioned as a witness
18:43, 29 November 2016

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Video questioning of fugitive Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych gave food for thoughts and discussions. Everyone is familiar with the fact that the former head of state is involved in several criminal cases, in particular on the organization of a criminal group and abuse of power. However, this time he came as a witness. We decided to find out how it happened.

Related: 7 hours of Yanukovych’s testimony: no question was answered

NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov confident that Viktor Yanukovych should not be questioned as a witness in cases related to the events in the capital Maidan, but as the main accused.

Related: Yanukovych's testimony: Secret truth and outright lies

"This interrogation was initiated by defense of "Berkut" employees, who are accused of shooting Maidan. The Russians, who have given permission for this interrogation, just want to do a show in which "witness" Yanukovych will protect "Berkut" employees and discredit Maidan... I am convinced that Yanukovych should be questioned not as a witness, but as the main accused. There are good reason for that, ranging from large-scale corruption and ending with his personal responsibility for the shooting of Maidan protesters," said Turchynov.

The same opinion share Interior Minister advisers Anton Gerashchenko and Zorian Shkiryak.

Related: Yanukovych press-conference: no orders to chase Maidan away

Prosecution General (GPU) told that Yanukovych’s status of the witness follows to the rules of the Criminal Procedure Code. GPU prosecutor Oleksiy Donsky explained that the role of Yanukovych in the "Berkut’s" murders on Maidan is considered in a separate production. In it the former president held as a suspect.

Former First Deputy Prosecutor General Mykola Golomsha thinks that Yanukovych’s questioning in the case of five "Berkut" employees should not be allowed, as long as he did not give evidence in a case concerning his own crimes against Maidan.

Related: General Prosecutor Office summons Yanukovych for interrogation

"The prosecutors, who were in the court, should protest against this questioning (of Yanukovych - Ed.) as a witness. They had to insist that he should be interrogated as a suspect in the main proceedings cannot be the person questioned, since then his testimony will be critically evaluated the main case. In terms of the tactics of the investigation, he has to be questioned in the main case," he said.

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has repeatedly invited Yanukovych to Ukraine to give the testimony. This option is almost impossible, so the main hope - the correspondence condemnation that will enable confiscation of his property and assets.

Related: Yanukovych to reveal "certain information" during press conference

"The only way to establish the truth is "live" questioning of Yanukovych in Ukraine in the Ukrainian courts or absentee condemnation, which I am sure, will soon take place," noted Shkiryak.

In the event of Yanukovych’s conviction in absentia during meetings may be his lawyers, he can also take part in them with the help of video conferencing. Once he is convicted, the former president would be wanted by Interpol for life.

Another option is to achieve conviction of Yanukovych at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, this week was in the ICC, outlined a number of persons, whose role in the aggression against Ukraine must be considered. Yanukovych is one of the first and the main defendants. GPU stressed that crimes against Maidana, the annexation of Crimea, and the occupation of Donbas are the links of one chain.

Related: Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine intends to raise the question about unreliability of Yanukovych testimony in court

The issue of attracting the ICC remains debatable. For example, Anton Gerashchenko said that Ukraine may condemn Yanukovych without and the Hague Tribunal. People's Deputy Viktor Chumak claimed that the imperfection of the legislation on in absentia conviction may prevent the Hague from starting the case against fugitive president. GPU agrees that legislation should be improved, and Verkhovna Rada has to hurry up with this.

Related: Yanukovych’s interview: Rostov court was online as notice of suspicion was announced

"Are we ready to accuse Yanukovych at home, in Ukraine, without ICC? Yes, we are ready. We have to do a common step with the Ukrainian parliament are adopt a special article of the Criminal Procedure Code on the peculiarities of correspondence investigation of the organized crime," noted Yuriy Lutsenko.

Related: Ukraine’s Prosecutor General accuses Yanukovych of state treason

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