Yanukovich’s public defender appeals verdict in high treason case

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KIEV, February 18. /TASS/. The state defender of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, Yuri Ryabovol, has filed an appeal against the verdict in the high treason case of the ex-president.

“The public defender asks the Court of Appeal to revoke the sentence, declare Yanukovich not guilty under all articles of accusations, as the court of the first instance had violated “substantive law and procedural law”.

Ryabovol, appointed as public defender by the Free Legal Aid Center, refused to disclose details of his appeal to TASS. TASS has also failed to receive official comments from the Obolonsky district court.

Meanwhile, the Aver Lex law firm, whose lawyers represent the interests of Yanukovich, said they had not appealed against the sentence as of yet, explaining that appeals from several lawyers are not banned by law.

Besides, Aver Lex reiterated that Yanukovich does not recognize Ryabovol as his defender. He rejected Ryabovol’s services back on August 14, as at the moment he had his own private lawyers, as well as because the public defender had refused to visit him personally to discuss the legal position. Besides, he says Ryabovol acts in the interests of the prosecution – the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office.

After the trial which lasted over 18 months in Ukraine, Kiev’s Obolonsky District Court sentenced the former Ukrainian president to 13 years in prison in absentia, but fully exculpated him under the key item of the charges – the loss of Crimea. Under this case launched against Yanukovich by Ukraine’s new authorities following a coup d’etat in February 2014, the former president was charged with state treason, aiding and abetting aggressive warfare and aiding and abetting the encroachment on Ukraine’s territorial integrity and immunity.

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