Witness or suspect: What is “double status” of Yanukovych

Свидетель или подозреваемый: Что означает "двойной статус" Януковича

Videotapes fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych from Rostov never took place, but gave food for thought and discussion. All aware of the fact that the former head of States involved in several criminal cases, in particular about the organization of a criminal group and abuse of power. However, questioning it came to the status of the witness. We decided to find out how it happened.

NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov is convinced that Viktor Yanukovych should be questioned not as a witness in cases of events on the capital’s Maidan, and as the main accused.

“This interrogation is initiated by the protection of soldiers of “Berkut”, which is accused in the shooting of activists of Maidan. The Russians gave permission for the interrogation, just want to make a show where the “witness” Yanukovych will protect the Berkut and throw mud Maidan… I am Convinced that Yanukovych should be questioned not as a witness, and as the main accused, and for good reason, ranging from large-scale corruption and ending his personal responsibility for the execution of the Heavenly hundreds”, – said Turchinov.

The same opinion advisors to the interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko and the Zoryan Shkiriak.

“Unfortunately, previous attorneys General have done very little to hasten the moment that Yanukovych was charged in absentia charged and he was questioned as the accused,” – said Gerashchenko.

The procedural niceties

The GPU explained that the status of a witness for Yanukovych due to the norms of the criminal procedure code. The Prosecutor of GPU Alexey Donskoy, the TV channel “112 Ukraine” said that the role of Yanukovych to the shooting of “Berkut” Maidan is considered in a separate section. In this ex-President is a suspect.

“Yanukovych is a suspect in a particular criminal proceedings for the same episodes involving these employees “Berkut”. But the criminal procedure law provides (and this applies not only to Yanukovych, but any group), that person has the status of a suspect in a particular industry, that is not an abstract status, this status is tied to production. Thus, if a person stands out in some other production, production from which it was selected, it already has the status of a witness, and in his production this person is a suspect,” explained don.

Former first Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Mykola Golomsha believes that the interrogation of Yanukovych in the case of five ex-“Berkut officers” should not be allowed until he gave testimony regarding their own crimes against the Maidan.

“The prosecutors who were in court, had protested against such interrogation (Yanukovych – ed.) as a witness and to insist that it needs to be questioned as a suspect in a main case. No person can be questioned, because then his testimony will be critically evaluated for the primary case. From the point of view of tactics of the investigation, he should be questioned on the main case, and then these readings must be read out in court on demand, for example, defended “Berkut officers”. Or he could be questioned in this case, if the court defined what their role is. And so that’s one thing,” he said.

Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko has repeatedly invited Yanukovych to Ukraine to testify “live”. This option seems almost impossible, therefore the main hope – on the in absentia conviction, which would confiscate its property and assets. This confirms the Zoryan Shkiriak.

“The only way to establish the truth – it’s only face-to-face questioning of Yanukovych in Ukraine in the Ukrainian court. Or in absentia conviction, which I am sure will soon be held,” he said.

In the case of conviction in absentia of Yanukovych during the meeting may submit his lawyers, he also may participate via videoconferencing. After he is convicted, the ex-President to a lifetime searched for by Interpol.

The ICC helps those who help themselves

Another option is to get a conviction of Yanukovych at the International criminal court in the Hague. Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko this week visited the ICC, where he outlined a circle of persons, whose role in the aggression against Ukraine should be considered. Yanukovych there – among the first and main defendants. GPU emphasizes that crimes against Maidan, the annexation of Crimea and occupation of Donbas – the links of one chain.

The question of the involvement of the ICC remains controversial. For example, Anton Gerashchenko considers that Ukraine can blame Yanukovych and without the Hague Tribunal. The people’s Deputy Viktor Chumak said that the imperfection of the legislation on absentee condemnation can prevent the Hague to take the case of the fugitive President to the development.

The GPU I agree that laws need to be improved, and for this to hurry up, the Verkhovna Rada.

“Are we ready to not show suspicion and accusations Yanukovych in Ukraine, without the ICC? The answer is: “Yes, we’re ready.” We have to do one common step with the Ukrainian Parliament to adopt a special article of the Criminal procedure code about the features of the correspondence investigation of organized criminal groups,” – said the Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko.

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