Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The lawyer of Viktor Yanukovych declared his “self-withdrawal”. The expert of NSN stated that there can be many reasons for this decision.
Victor Yanukovych’s state lawyer said in court that he refuses to defend the former President of Ukraine. As RIA Novosti writes, the lawyer Vitaly Meshechek reported that this decision was made because of the special complexity of the case. He explained that he is engaged in individual lawyer practice and also isn’t in any lawyer association. At the same time he has no assistants.
The former Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleg Tsarev in a conversation with NSN stated that the refusal of the lawyer of Yanukovych to defend the former President of Ukraine looks like an attempt to drag out the trial.
“It is difficult for me to say for what reason a State lawyer can refuse to protect the defendant. Perhaps he isn’t obliged to sound them. But in general, everything’s possible here for the fact that he independently eliminated himself: health, lack of time, and the fact that it was at the request of Yanukovych that to asked to work. There can be many reasons. As far as I understand, now the first processes are ongoing, and there is no settled practice. If one State defender refuses, then the court must appoint another one – the defendant shouldn’t be left without protection. Only if he will refuse it himself,” summarised Oleg Tsarev.
As a reminder, the Prosecutor’s Office finished its legal investigation concerning Viktor Yanukovych’s treason at the beginning of 2017 – after that it was transferred to court. The former President is also accused of infringing on the territorial integrity of Ukraine and other crimes. Yanukovych himself at a press conference at the beginning of July said that he doesn’t intend to be further involved in the trial regarding him, because in its course “all possible principles and rules of law were violated”, and the result of the court case “is determined in-advance”.
In addition, RIA Novosti reported that the Obolonsky district court of Kiev granted the request of the State lawyer of Viktor Yanukovych – Vitaly Meshechek – to exempt him from the defender’s duties in court on the case of treason.
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