Yanukovych doesn't arrive at PGO because of threat to life
Ukraine's ousted ex-president Viktor Yanukovych did not arrive at the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (PGO) for taking part in an investigation and legal proceedings because of a threat to his life and health, his lawyer Vitaliy Serdiuk told journalists at the PGO on August 11.
According to Serdiuk, Yanukovych has appealed the procedure of a pre-trial investigation in absentia in the Court of Appeals, and this appeal will be considered at 16:00 Kyiv time on Tuesday.
"We have submitted the relevant statements on behalf of Yanukovych, and we are ready to participate in all investigative actions. The consideration of the appeal in the Court of Appeals against an illegitimate decision to use the procedure of conviction in absentia is scheduled for 16:00 Kyiv time on Tuesday. And we hope that the Court of Appeals will cancel this procedure," he said.
The lawyer also said that Yanukovych had previously filed a request at the PGO to publicly hear the case and provide the public with the materials of the criminal proceedings against him.
"We have submitted an application where Yanukovych demands that the materials related to the charges brought by the PGO against him be presented to the public, so that people could estimate the amount of evidence about the crimes against the Maidan and other crimes, which Yanukovych was accused of, and make their own decisions," Serdiuk said.
He also said that the PGO refused to publish the materials of the criminal proceedings.
As UNIAN reported earlier, a subpoena to officially call Yanukovych to the PGO was published in the government's Uryadoviy Kurier newspaper on August 6.
Yanukovych had to arrive at the office of the head of the PGO's department Yuriy Bezschasniy at 11:00 Kyiv time on August 11 for investigative and legal proceedings in the criminal case opened in keeping with Part 5 of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On July 28, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin announced the beginning of the procedure of conviction in absentia of six former high-ranking officials, including ex-president Yanukovych.
According to Shokin, on July 27, Kyiv's Pechersk District Court recognized the validity of arguments and evidence provided by the General Prosecutor's Office, and had already started the procedure of conviction in absentia.
At the same time, Yanukovych's lawyer Vitaliy Serdiuk said that the defense of Yanukovych had appealed the PGO's decision on the pre-trial investigation in absentia, therefore Yanukovych would not be present during interrogation on August 11. According to Serdiuk, "the PGO's investigators have been instructed regarding legitimate excuses for Yanukovych's absence during investigative actions."
"We will give an appropriate response to the PGO to the published subpoena. It will be a message on legitimate excuses for Yanukovych's absence with reference to Article 138 of the Criminal Procedure Code. He can't be present because of a threat to his life and health," the lawyer said.
According to Serdiuk, Yanukovych is ready to testify at his place of residence by video conference.
Chief of the PGO's Special Investigations Department Serhiy Horbatiuk announced that five criminal proceedings had been initiated against Yanukovych: for the Mezhyhiria Residence, for Sukholuchchia hunting lands, for crimes on Kyiv's Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square, for the creation of a criminal organization, and for telecoms giant Ukrtelecom.