Kiev’s court began hearing the criminal case against Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovich, charged with treason.
Judge Vladislav Devyatko opened the hearing on Monday by saying: “The court wants to hear the sides regarding Yanukovich’s participation in the hearing by means of a video conference.”
Earlier, the court decided to summon the former president to the coming sessions, namely on June 26, 29, on July 6, 12, 13 and on August 3, 10, 17, 23 and 31.
Before the hearing at Kiev’s Obolon district’s court, the former president’s lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk said Yanukovich is ready to participate in the court hearing of the case, under which he is charged with treason, and to direct questions to the country leaders despite the prosecution’s resistance.
“The defense will insist Yanukovich could participate (using video channels) and testify according to norms of the international law,” he said. “Yanukovich also plans participating in interrogation of the country leaders, wants to ask them questions.”
“This procedure would be similar to the one used at the Svyatochinsky court,” he added. “Yanukovich has the right to participate in the court hearing, and he will participate in it despite the obstacles and resistance from the prosecution.”
The defense will continue insisting Yanukovich’s participation in the hearing is provided in compliance with the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. “The court suggested Yanukovich communicated by Skype, not as it is regulated by the Convention,” the lawyer said. “In this case, the proofs received this way, may be considered invalid.”
The lawyer also said during the hearing on Monday he would insist the case could not be considered by the current collegium of judges due to the colossal pressure on them in decision taking. He said, the Supreme Council of Justice had received claims against the judges, but they remain unconsidered. “Due to those claims the judges could be fired any moment, which proves once again the continuing pressure on them,” he said.