Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine initiated a criminal case against the chairman of the political council of the party “Opposition Platform – For Life” Viktor Medvedchuk, having accused him of treason. This was reported by the press secretary of the Prosecutor-General of Ukraine Larisa Sargan on Tuesday.
“On February 5th the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, in accordance with the appeal of the People’s Deputy Andrey Teteruk, entered information into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations concerning the commission of criminal offences by Viktor Medvedchuk stipulated by part 1 of article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (infringing on territorial integrity) and part 1 of article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (treason)”she wrote on Facebook
The Prosecutor-General’s Office blames Medvedchuk for his speech at a congress on January 29th 2019, during which he declared the “need to form a so-called autonomous region of Donbass’ with its own parliament and government. According to the prosecutor’s office, it contradicts article 1 of the Constitution of Ukraine, according to which the country is a unitary state.
Sargan reported that the case papers will be transferred to the Security Service of Ukraine.
At the same time, as the speaker of the Prosecutor General’s Office Andrey Lysenko reported, the initiation of legal proceedings against Medvedchuk doesn’t speak about his guilt. “At the moment it is still too early to speak about proof of guilt. Investigative actions will be carried out and, if necessary, the investigator will hand down the charges that were entered into the Unified register of pre-trial investigations and on the basis of which a criminal case was initiated,” said Lysenko on the air of the “Pryamoy” TV channel.
At the same time, he didn’t exclude the possibility of bringing charges under the same articles to other participants of the congress – to the party members of “Opposition Platform – For Life”.
On January 29th the congress of the new opposition party Named “Opposition Platform — For Life” took place in Kiev. It was created at the end of last year as a result of an association of some of the “Opposition Bloc“, the “For Life“ party, and a number of opposition political forces in Ukraine. The congress was devoted to preparing for the presidential elections, which will take place in the country on March 31st. Its participants supported the nomination of Yury Boyko, who was already earlier registered as an independent candidate.
Speaking at the congress, the head of the political council of the “Opposition Platform – For Life” party Viktor Medvedchuk scarified the policy of the current Ukrainian government concerning all main directions and submitted the program that the party and its candidate will go to elections with. Among the main objectives that need to be sorted out he named “military operations in Donbass, tariff genocide, governmental corruption, radical nationalism, the external control of transatlantic owners that the Kiev authorities is subordinated to, poverty, and social injustice”.
Concerning the situation in the East of the country, Medvedchuk reported that the party has a plan to peacefully solve it by creating an autonomous region Donbass as a part of Ukraine. He noted that the plan is based on the Minsk Agreements approved by the resolution of the UN Security Council and corresponds to the “Normandy Four” accord and the current legislation of Ukraine. At the same time, Medvedchuk highlighted that this proposal doesn’t contradict the unitary statehood that is written down in the constitution. “We aren’t speaking about federal apparatus. We live under the constitution, which stipulates unitary status with the possibility of the status of autonomy for a certain region. This is the existing constitution, we don’t want to change it, it already exists,” he said.
DPR politician and resident Aleksey Karpushev: “The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine initiated a case against Medvedchuk for his statement about granting autonomy to Donbass. Immediately two questions arise: why was this done only now (many have been sat in jail for a long time because of such ‘criminal separatist statements’)? And why, according to this logic, didn’t Lutsenko initiate a case against Poroshenko in February 2015 since he not just said something about it, but SIGNED the Minsk Agreements with their ‘special status’ for Donbass?”
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