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Yanukovych's defense appeals to Zelensky to provide guarantees of right to fair trial

KYIV. Nov 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The defense of former President Viktor Yanukovych appeals to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with a demand to end the persecution of their client and to implement guarantees of fair access to justice.

‘We are forced to openly declare the obvious facts of human rights violations, to appeal to the current ombudsman and former ombudsmen for their assessment. We are forced to appeal to President Zelensky with a demand to stop political human rights, to implement guarantees of access to justice, the right to defense," attorney of Yanukovych Vitaliy Serdiuk said at a press conference on Tuesday in Kyiv.

Serdiuk said that the Supreme Court, when considering the appeal against the verdict of treason against Yanukovych, gave the defense only 30 minutes to speak.

"Could such a process be objective […] what is the purpose of obvious violations? The task […] to rewrite history, to shift responsibility for the loss of Crimea from the real perpetrators to Viktor Yanukovych’s shoulders is being fulfilled. The task of shifting responsibility for both the executions of law enforcement officers and the protesters is being fulfilled by such actions," the attorney said.

According to Serdiuk, the defense of Yanukovych made every effort to ensure that the Supreme Court heard Yanukovych’s position and exercise the right of access to justice.

The defense lawyer said that Yanukovych made repeated requests to give him the opportunity to speak using the procedure provided for by the European Convention on Mutual Assistance.

Serdiuk said the Supreme Court proposed to ensure the participation of Yanukovych in the consideration of the cassation only by videoconference.

"At the last meeting, the Supreme Court actually changed its previous decision and proceeded to consider the complaint in essence. Our arguments were to provide time for obtaining permits so that we could meet with the client […] organize videoconferences […] there was a refusal," the attorney said.

Speaking about the completion of the pretrial investigation into the so-called "Maidan case" on the facts of the executions of the protesters, Serdiuk said that the defense had not been notified of the completion of the investigation.