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Ousted Ukrainian President Says Will Not Participate In Kyiv's Treason Trial


Judges in Kyiv presiding over the treason trial of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced that he will not participate in a high treason trial against him that is scheduled to resume in Kyiv on July 6.

Yanukovych said he is recalling his lawyers from the court, which is trying him in absentia on charges of treason, violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and abetting Russian aggression.

Yanukovych fled Ukraine in February 2014 amid street protests during which his police forces killed dozens of people. He has been living in exile in Russia.

"I don't want to participate in the alleged adversary trial, the outcome of which was determined in advance," he said in a statement, adding that his lawyers are "powerless" to argue his case "in the country of obliterated justice."

Yanukovych said prosecutors are "accusing me of all past, present, and future woes of Ukraine" and called the trial "a sham."

He said that the Ukrainian law allowing the court to try him in absentia violates the European Convention on Human Rights, and the court violated his rights by refusing to allow him to participate in the trial by video conference.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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