Viktor Yanukovych, the ousted ex-president of Ukraine, will stand before the Ukrainian court in absentia, while remaining in Russia. Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said this at a briefing on Tuesday.
‘It is the fear that made Yanukovych to sign this hideous document (the letter to Putin, where he asked the Russian leader to bring troops to Ukraine, - 112 International). It is the fear that won’t let him come to Kyiv and participate in the investigation. The Ukrainian court ruled that Yanukovych will stand before trial in absentia. He will enjoy all opportunities that the court provides, except for the personal presence, which he evades because of being afraid,’ Lutsenko said.
The military prosecutor’s office passed the bill of indictment in this case to the court.
‘This is an unprecedented event; not just because it is the first trial over a president of Ukraine. I believe it is quite important because it’s the first time that the Ukrainian court will consider an accusation of the state treason committed by the leader elected by the nation. The court will announce its verdict immediately after this grievous crime, the state treason, was committed,’ the official said.
Viktor Yanukovych served as the president of Ukraine in 2010-2014. He was ousted during the anti-government protests, known as the Revolution of Dignity in February 2014. Back then, Yanukovych and his sidekicks fled the country; the ex-Ukrainian leader has been residing in Russia ever since. The Ukrainian government repeatedly demanded that Yanukovych be repatriated, but Russia refused. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine charges Yanukovych of state treason, supporting Russian officials responsible for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as waging aggressive war.