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July 5, former president Viktor Yanukovych has announced that that he decided not to participate in the trial over him on charges of treason and to withdraw his lawyers. He said that he does not want to participate in the process, the outcome of which is predetermined. However, the trial itself was continued, and Yanukovych was given a free lawyer.
July 7, regional center for the provision of free secondary legal aid in Kyiv appointed a lawyer Vitaly Meshechek to protect former president. The center said that appointment took into account specialization of the lawyer, his current level of workload and the complexity of production.
34-year-old Vitaly Meshechek was born in Donetsk region. He received a certificate of the right to practice as a lawyer in June 2012.
In a commentary to journalists, he said that the media had violated the information, calling him "Donetsk lawyer." He explained that he began to be engaged in individual advocacy in Kyiv and in recent years specializes in criminal cases. He said that he has a contract with the Regional Center for the provision of free secondary legal aid.
In open sources, there is not much information about it. Judging by the data of the Ukrainian Football Federation, Meshechek played for Azovstal football club in 1999-2000. He had a little chat with reporters before Wednesday’s court session on the case of Yanukovych, he did not want to answer too many questions, arguing that there would be a press conference soon.
In particular, journalists asked Meshechek whether he has already communicated with Yanukovych and whether he keeps in contact with him, to which the lawyer said: "I will not give this answer now. I will answer all these questions later."
At the same time, Meshechok said that he was not familiar with Viktor Yanukovych before joining the process. "I know him only as a former president of Ukraine," he said. Meshechek also denied the information that he personally knows the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.
"There is some information that allegedly, I had some previous negotiations with Lutsenko. I want to refute this information, I openly and honestly declare that I did not meet with Lutsenko, I personally do not know him," said Yanukovych's defender.
At today's meeting of the court, Meshechek said that he needed time to review and analyze the materials of the case. The lawyer said that he had previously followed this case and certain moments are clear to him.
"Now I had no opportunity to contact the defenders, but in the future I will contact the defenders who took part in it," he said.
Meshechok insists on the participation of his client in the way of videoconference.
"Viktor Fedorovych should take part, and no one has the right to deprive him of the opportunity to ask witnesses, experts or other participants in criminal proceedings to file petitions, complaints, challenges," he said. The lawyer said that he supports the opinion of former defenders that Yanukovych is "restricted" in participating in the process.
Later he clarified that he was going to talk with Yanukovych, his lawyers, "so that the position on the case does not differ."
"And I cannot act contrary to Viktor Yanukovych's interests, so I will coordinate all my future actions with Yanukovych himself and his previous defenders," he explained. The next meeting of the Obolonsky District Court of Kyiv on this case will be held on August 3.