Yatsenyuk Was Unable to Explain in Court the Reasons for Removing Yanukovych From Office in 2014

Translated by Ollie Richardson



The Obolonsky district court of Kiev for two hours interrogated the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk as a witness in the case of Viktor Yanukovych, who is accused of treason.

During the interrogation, Yatsenyuk avoided direct responses to a number of questions asked by Yanukovych’s defence. In particular, he could not give an answer to the question “based on what provision of the Constitution of Ukraine was Yanukovych dismissed from his position as president, and also when was contact with him lost?”. The former Prime Minister confirmed that on February 22nd, 2014, on the day of the acceptance of the resolution by the Rada “on the withdrawal of the president of Ukraine from the execution of constitutional powers and the assignment of early presidential elections” a telephone conversation with Yanukovych took place, but he did not specify at what exact time they spoke. “We talked on February 22nd. Did the Rada make a decision to dismiss the president – No. Did Yanukovych withdraw himself – yes, do I remember when this conversation happened – no, did this conversation influence the decision in the Rada – no,” said Yatsenyuk.

At the same time Yanukovych’s defence earlier repeatedly stated that the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada was anti-constitutional.

The former Prime Minister also did not answer the question of the defence about whether or not he knew about the decision of the NSDC concerning the use of weapons on the motorcade of Yanukovych, while saying that, according to him, there was no threat to the life of Yanukovych.

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The former Prime Minister also stated that he did not personally see the signing of the announcement by Yanukovych of March 1st, 2014, about the alleged entrance of Russian troops to Ukraine, and learned about it from “publicly available sources”.

After two hours the presiding judge Vladislav Devyatko stopped Yatsenyuk’s interrogation, without giving him the chance to answer the remaining questions of the defence, and declared a break. In the Obolonsky district court on Monday the interrogation of the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov as the witness of the side of the prosecution was also planned.

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