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Court Green-Lights in Absentia Investigation against Ukraine’s Former President Viktor Yanukovych

Viktor Yanukovych

The Pechersk District Court of Kyiv green-lighted the investigation in absentia against ex-president Viktor Yanukovych over the 2014 murders of Maidan protesters.

As the Prosecutor General’s Office informs, investigations will be conducted into the case over the Maidan shootings, namely the organisation of many serious and particularly serious violent crimes, including premeditated murders of protesters in Kyiv city centre in February 2014.

“As the ex-president is currently hiding from the investigation and court in the territory of the aggressor state, in Russia, such a court decision entitles the prosecution to conduct a pre-trial investigation against him in his absence,” the Prosecutor General’s Office explained.

According to the investigation, the former president, wanting to stop mass protests that threatened his stay in power, acting in conjunction with the former chief of the Security Service of Ukraine and the interior minister, allowed law enforcement officers to use military equipment and firearms for armed counteraction and crackdown on the activists.

Such actions led to massive casualties among protesters in the central part of the capital of Ukraine on 18-20 February 2014, in particular to the murder of 62 people.

As a reminder, in January 2019, the Obolonsky District Court of Kyiv found Viktor Yanukovych guilty of high treason and aiding and abetting the aggressive war and sentenced him to 13 years in prison in absentia. In addition, Yanukovych is suspected of high treason due to the signing of the 2010 Kharkiv Accords.

Bohdan Marusyak

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