Court rules in absentia to remand in custody ex-PM Azarov

Court rules in absentia to remand in custody ex-PM Azarov

The court has selected a measure of restraint for former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov who is being investigated for treason in relation to the so-called "Kharkiv agreements" signed with Russia.

That’s according to the State Bureau of Investigation, Ukrinform reports.

In a statement, the SBI says the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv granted the relevant motion by the Bureau’s detective as part of a criminal proceeding into high treason committed in conspiracy with others.

The pre-trial inquiry has established that the content and terms of the Agreement signed between Ukraine and Russia on the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Ukrainian territory were imposed by the then-President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, on the then-Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, on the eve of its signing in Moscow on April 21, 2010.

Read also: Yanukovych, son to be probed in absentia, court rules

“Fully understanding the implications for Ukraine of signing such an agreement, the then head of government deliberately ensured that the said document be endorsed and approved by authorized officials (ministers, heads of law enforcement and on behalf of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine) at all stages of approval and implementation," the SBI said.

Detectives have obtained original documents proving "the deliberate actions by former Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov to the detriment of our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“Such actions subsequently contributed to the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation," the statement stressed.

It was established that these acts were carried out "in conspiracy with the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, who had also been charged and declared wanted in the said criminal proceeding."

The court ruling to remand Azarov in custody will provide grounds for requesting international legal assistance in his extradition, as well as allow initiating a pre-trial investigation in absentia," the SBI said.

Read also: NSDC imposes sanctions against Yanukovych, Azarov and other ex-officials

The bureau reminded prosecution for treason has no statute of limitations.

In January 2021, the SBI pressed treason charges against the disgraced ex-president, Viktor Yanukovych.

On March 12, the SBU announced the start of a pre-trial inquiry into the circumstances of the signing and ratification by the Verkhovna Rada in 2010 of an agreement on the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine.

Read also: Maidan crackdown: Court extends restrictive measure against former security chief in custody

The agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, signed in Kharkiv on April 21, 2010, by the then presidents of Ukraine and Russia, Viktor Yanukovych and Dmitry Medvedev, extended the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol from 2017 to 2042, setting the relevant rent fee.

Photo: Alexander Widding / Global look


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