Last week, the court allowed the arrest of Yanukovych in a case related to agreements on the Russian fleet in Crimea, and now a special pre-trial investigation can be launched against the politician
The Kyiv Pechersk Court allowed a special pre-trial investigation against the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych due to the signing of the Kharkiv agreements in 2010 in his absence, the office of the country's Prosecutor General reported on Telegram.
Viktor Yanukovych and Dmitry Medvedev signed the Kharkiv agreements in April 2010. According to these agreements, the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea was extended from 2017 to 2042 in exchange for a discount on Russian gas for Ukraine. After Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014, Moscow unilaterally denounced the agreements.
The Prosecutor General's Office recalled that now two absentee pre-trial investigations have already been opened against the ex-president: “on the fact of the seizure of state power by the former president in September & October 2010”; and in the case of organizing illegal border crossing and “incitement to commit desertion”.
Yanukovych served as president of Ukraine from 2010 to 2014, and fled to Russia after the Euromaidan. In Ukraine, several criminal cases were opened against him, including because of the conclusion of the Kharkov agreements, under Part 1 of Art. 111 of the Criminal Code (treason). Under this article, the former head of state faces up to 15 years in prison. In one of the criminal cases, Yanukovych was sentenced in absentia to 13 years in prison for treason and complicity in the “waging of an aggressive war.”
The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly criticized the Kharkiv agreements. In March last year, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) instructed to check the circumstances of the ratification of the Kharkiv agreements. “Many interesting characters voted, who continue to remain in Ukrainian politics,” — noted NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov.
According to the investigation, Yanukovych, together with former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, damaged the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, defense capability, state and economic security of the state, providing Russia with assistance in “carrying out subversive activities”; against Ukraine. The agreement “artificially created the prerequisites for increasing the number of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine,” the prosecutor's office explained. The Ukrainian investigation also believes that before signing the documents, Russia artificially raised the price of gas.
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On May 23, the Prosecutor General's Office announced that a court in Kyiv allowed the arrest of Yanukovych in this case.
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