Kyiv Court returns fugitive former Ukrainian president’s appeal in high treason case to lower court
Kyiv Court of Appeal has returned criminal proceedings and an appeal filed by the fugitive former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to Obolon District Court of Kyiv, the Court of Appeal press service reported on Jan. 5.
A panel of judges made the decision to return the cases the same day.
The Supreme Court on Dec. 6 upheld the sentence passed on Yanukovych, who was earlier convicted in absentia of high treason and sentenced to 13 years in prison. The court threw out the appeals of Yanukovych's lawyers and upheld the sentence of the courts of first instance and appeal.
In early October, the High Anti-Corruption Court arrested Yanukovych in absentia in the case of the seizure of the Mezhyhirya Residence. The State Bureau of Investigation on Nov. 5 informed the fugitive president of a new case against him as the leader of a criminal group.
In May 2020, Yanukovych was found guilty in absentia of usurping power in Ukraine. On March 25, 2021, the Kyiv Court of Appeal upheld this decision.
Yanukovych fled Ukraine in winter of 2014, marking the end of three months of civil unrest, known as the EuroMaidan Revolution.
After security forces provoked violence on the streets of Ukraine and caused the deaths of more than 100 protestors, Yanukovych asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to send Russian troops into Ukraine to assist in putting down the protests by force. That gave Putin a formal reason to start the Russian occupation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas, which has already killed more than 15,000 Ukrainians since its start in 2014, Prosecutor’s General Office of Ukraine has said.
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