Yarema appeals to Russian prosecutor for extradition of Yanukovych
Neither Ukraine’s prosecutors nor any other of the country’s law enforcement authorities are able to bring to justice former senior Ukrainian officials who fled to Russia, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema said in parliament on Friday, an UNIAN correspondent has reported.
Yarema, answering questions at parliament’s weekly Hour of Questions for the Government, said that until recently the laws on criminal procedures prevented Yanukovych and his associates from being prosecuted.
According to Yarema, after the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on criminal proceedings and conviction in absentia, the police "started the relevant activities."
"I appealed to the Russian Prosecutor General Yuriy Chaika, requesting that [the Russians] extradite Yanukovych and his associates", Yarema said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 21 last year former President Viktor Yanukovych fled from Kyiv, effectively abandoning the presidency of Ukraine. The country had seen several months of protests against Yanukovych’s rule, which ended in bloodshed, with over 100 protesters gunned down by snipers firing on them as they advanced towards the government quarter in Kyiv.
Criminal proceedings have been initiated in Ukraine against Yanukovych, former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and several other former officials on charges of murdering civilians. All of them are on the wanted list.
On January 12, 2015, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that Interpol had declared wanted Yanukovych, Azarov and other former Ukrainian officials.
On January 16, Prosecutor General Yarema said that Ukrainian prosecutors were preparing the necessary package of documents for the extradition of Yanukovych, Azarov and other officials of Yanukovych’s regime who were declared wanted by Interpol.
But shortly after that, Russian Prosecutor General Chaika said that Ukraine had not submitted a request for the extradition of Yanukovych.
On January 29, 2015 Russian Justice Minister Olexander Konovalov also denied he had received the documents required for the extradition of Yanukovych and his family members.