Yanukovych contributed to Russia's occupation of Crimea - court

Yanukovych contributed to Russia's occupation of Crimea - court

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych helped representatives of the Russian authorities "conduct an aggressive war against Ukraine" and contributed to the attempt to legitimize the occupation of Crimea.

Presiding Judge Vladyslav Deviatko said this while reading the verdict against Yanukovych at a court session in Kyiv on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent said.

"Yanukovych, while in Russia on February 24, 2014, decided by means of high treason to contribute to representatives of the Russian authorities in conducting an aggressive war against Ukraine, hoping, in such an illegal way, at the expense of Ukraine's sovereignty, to receive preferences from representatives of the authorities of the Russian Federation for further prolonged residence on the territory of this state and avoidance of criminal responsibility in Ukraine," the judge said.

He also noted that Yanukovych, arriving in Russia before March 1, 2014, entered into conspiracy with representatives of the Russian authorities and contributed to justifying the occupation of Crimea.

"Yanukovych, no longer being the legitimate president of Ukraine, appealed to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin on March 1, 2014 with the request to use Russian troops to wage an aggressive war against Ukraine," Deviatko said.

In May 2017, Kyiv's Obolonsky District Court started hearing the case on charges brought against Yanukovych for committing crimes provided for in Part 1 of Article 111 (high treason), Part 5 of Article 27, Part 3 of Article 110 (aiding in intentional actions committed to change the boundaries of the territory and the state border of Ukraine), and Part 5 of Article 27, Part 3 of Article 437 (complicity in waging an aggressive war) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

One of the main proofs in the case is a letter from Yanukovych to Russian President Vladimir Putin with the request to move troops to Ukraine.

Some 89 court sessions were held in this case as of December 5, 2018, but Yanukovych, who has repeatedly been summoned to court for the last statement, rejected a video conference. Therefore, on December 5, the court refused to postpone a session and went to the deliberation room to make a final decision in the case.

The prosecution asked the court to sentence Yanukovych to 15 years in prison.

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