Court rules to remand in custody ex-"health minister" of occupied Crimea

10:00, 09 January 2018
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The court in Kherson has partially granted prosecutors' petition to arrest for 60 days the former "health minister" of the Russian-annexed Crimea, Petro Mykhalchevsky, having ruled to remand the defendant in custody for a month, according to RFE/RL's Krym-Realii media project.

Photo from UNIAN

The prosecutor's office believes that Mykhalchevsky work in the so-called "government of the Republic of Crimea" is in itself an act aimed at undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity, Krym-Realii reported.

In addition, prosecutors say there are witnesses' testimonies claiming that the suspect had personally helped set up an illegal "referendum" in Crimea in March 2014.

The defense team argues that the arrest is too strict a preventive measure since the "ex-minister" does not intend to flee from Ukraine, wishing to prove his innocence. Mykhalchevsky has been avoiding contact with the media so far, but says he pleads not guilty on all charges.

Read alsoUkraine's security service detains ex-"health minister" of annexed Crimea in Kyiv (Photo, Video) As UNIAN reported earlier, operatives of the Ukrainian SBU Security Service detained former "health minister" of the Russian-annexed Crimea Petro Mykhalchevsky in Kyiv on Friday, January 5.

The SBU seized Mykhalchevsky's Russian passport, a minister's ID signed off by the so-called "leader" of Russian-occupied Crimea Sergey Aksyonov, and other documents confirming his cooperation with the occupation authorities.

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