Yanukovych’s final statement could be delayed by several months

On Tuesday, October 23, during a regular meeting on the case of high treason against former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, his lawyer made a request on his behalf that could lead to a delay of the trial for several months.

The lawyers are currently debating the case. Oleksandr Horoshynsky, one of Yanukovych’s attorneys read a speech for an hour during which he gave the court a written statement that he received from the defendant in Moscow. In the statement, the ex-President asked the court for the chance to speak via video link, but solely in the presence of his lawyer.

To make this possible, Horoshynsky has to register a request in the Ministry of Justice of Russia that could take up to four months but he promised to manage this faster. The court promised to provide “reasonable time” to complete this process. Yanukovych also asked the court to expel government-appointed lawyer Yuriy Ryabovol but the court rejected that request.

The debates will continue on October 24 at 9:00. The debates will last one hour a day. The debates are the last stage of the judicial process after which sentencing will be made.

Yanukovych is being charged with the high treason, complicity in separatism, and complicity in waging an aggressive war in violation of Section 1, Article 111, Section 5, Article 27, Section 3, Article 110, and Section 2, Article 437 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. He is currently evading arrest by staying in Russia and is tried in absentia.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office demands 15-year imprisonment for him. In May 2017, the Military Prosecutor Ruslan Kravchenko said that sentence in the case of high treason assumes life imprisonment and that prosecution will petition for it.

  Ukraine, Russia, Yanukovych