tuesday, 29 january of 2019


Ukraine court sentences ex-president Yanukovych to 13 years in prison for treason

A Ukrainian court on Thursday sentenced former president Viktor Yanukovych to 13 years in prison after finding him guilty of treason for a 2014 crackdown on pro-Western demonstrations.

In 2014 Yanukovych spiked an association agreement with the EU in favor of retaining close ties with Russia. This sparked massive protests and police crackdown that killed more than 100 people. The protests resulted in Yanukovych being forced from power, after which he fled to Russia.

Shortly after, Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula, using a request by Yanukovych as legal justification. Yanukovych has since admitted that he sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting military assistance. Russia has also backed a separatist insurgency in the east in the country, and the conflict there has resulted in more than 10,000 deaths.

Yanukovych has seldom been seen since the events which ousted him from power, and his conviction occurred in absentia. Yanukovych testified earlier in the trial via video link from Moscow.

Yanukovych’s lawyers have said that they will appeal the decision. They claim that the verdict was forced under government pressure, and that the court had failed to question many of the witnesses on the defense side.

(Published by Jurist, January 25, 2019)

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