Leading European lawyer Bertrand Malmendier joined legal defense team of Viktor Medvedchuk, Chairman of Political Council of Opposition Platform - For Life. He announced this at the press conference.
He noted that he had signed an agreement on legal protection of the opposition leader. The lawyer also gave his assessment of the events taking place around Medvedchuk and in Ukraine as a whole.
"Of course, I respect the sovereignty of Ukraine and the independence of the Ukrainian justice therefore we will not involve ourselves actively in the details of the proceedings but we will have a sharp eye on the non-violation of the rule of law and European fundamental procedural rights. This is because we are observing with concern increasing authoritarianism as a means of political confrontation. The subject of our work will be the assessment of the compliance of the criminal proceedings against Mr. Medvedchuk with the rule of law as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and in the Constitution of the European Union. Furthermore, we will be representing Mr. Medvedchuk at European institutions and European courts and NGOs and report our observations on the development of the rule of law in Ukraine to these institutions. As you know, Ukraine has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and committed itself in the Association treaty in Article 14 with the European Union to respect fundamental procedural rights and through the development of the rule of law in this country. Unfortunately, a contrary development has been observed at present. And the credibility of the European Union is at stake here. The West and the European Union sanction Russia over Mr. Navalny and look the other way in the case of Mr. Medvedchuk. We are also in the process of identifying through the independent legal experts and in the European Union and the United Kingdom. The purpose of the process is to involve such experts to assess the compliance of the proceedings going on in Ukraine with fundamental European principles of law," the lawyer added.
Doctor of Law Bertrand Malmendier studied law, medicine and philosophy in Lyon, Geneva and Berlin and acquired a doctoral degree in the history of constitutional law in the year 2000. Following a longer period of time as a research assistant at the Institute for State Studies, Constitutional and Administrative Law at the Free University of Berlin (Professor Dr. Graf von Pestalozza), he was admitted to the bar in 1997 and founded today’s law firm in the year 2002.
Earlier, Member of European Parliament and a member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Dr. Maximilian Krah said that the arrest of the Chairman of Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party and MP Viktor Medvedchuk, the closure of television channels at the order of President Volodymyr Zelensky amid corruption and oligarchic rule is contrary to European standards and policies.
On October 12, Pechersk district court decided to choose the house arrest as a restrictive measure in the new case against Viktor Medvedchuk. The judges ruled that he is to remain under house arrest until December 7. Medvedchuk said that he would continue to fight the current government, no matter how much the repression against him intensifies. He stressed that together with the Opposition Platform - For Life they will continue to protect the interests of the Ukrainian people.
"Don't the prosecutors be alarmed. I'm ready for everything, I'll do whatever the law says to, but at that, I'll be still fighting this government, just like I did before - actually, just the way our party used to fight and will ckeep on fighting", Medvedchuk stressed.
On October 8, the General Prosecutor's Office and the Security Service of Ukraine pressed new charges against Viktor Medvedchuk. The new charges related to fuel supplies from the uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2014.
On February 20, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on sanctions against 8 individuals and 19 legal entities. Among them are the Chairman of Political Council of Opposition Platform - For Life Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko.