Ukraine detains ex-health minister of the annexed Crimea

An ex-"Minister" of annexed Crimea, Petro Mikhalchevsky, who is suspected of treason, was taken into custody for a month, the Press Secretary of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Tatyana Tikhonchik announced on January 8.

According to Krym.Realii, during the court hearing, the representatives of the Prosecutor's Office insisted on the detention of Mikhalchevsky for a period of 60 days.

"The work of Mikhalchevsky in the Russian government of the Crimea is an activity aimed at undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine. In particular, the witnesses' testimonies provided by the Prosecutor's Office state that Mikhalchevsky has facilitated the organization of the ‘referendum’ on Russia's annexation of the Crimea," the statement says.

Mikhalchevsky’s lawyers insisted that their defendant should not be held in custody as he does not intend to evade justice. He wants "to restore his good name through the court, to prove that he has not taken any action to harm Ukraine." Mikhalchevsky pleads not guilty.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) found the former "Minister of Public Health" of annexed Crimea in Kyiv and carried out a search at his residence.

Mikhalchevsky is charged with violating Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.

According to the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the "ex-Minister" was informed that he did not have the right to leave the territory of Ukraine, and that if he tried to do so, he would be detained.
Mikhalchevsky was the "Minister of Public Health of Crimea" from March to June 2014 after Russia's annexation of the Crimea. Later, Russian-controlled authorities accused him of corruption, after which Mikhalchevsky resigned of his own volition.

  Crimea, treason, Ukraine, Russia