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EU Court Overturns Asset Freeze On Ukraine Ex-President's Aide

Ukrainian ex-President Viktor Yanukovych (left) and aide Andriy Portnov talk in Crimea in August 2010.

An EU court has ruled that the bloc had been wrong to freeze the assets of a former adviser to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The EU placed Andriy Portnov for a year from March 2014 on a blacklist of individuals suspected of stealing Ukrainian public funds before Yanukovych was brought down by street protests.

The EU's General Court said on October 26 that Portnov's inclusion on the list was based solely on a letter from the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office that an investigation into Portnov and others had shown a sizeable misappropriation of state funds and their illegal transfer out of Ukraine.

The letter "fails to provide any details concerning either the facts alleged against Mr. Portnov or his responsibility in that regard," the Luxembourg-based judges argued.

The ruling can be appealed within two months before the European Court of Justice.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa