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Ukraine's President, Parliament Speaker, Interior Minister To Testify At Yanukovych Trial


Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych gestures as he answers journalists questions during a press conference in Moscow in February.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy, and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov will testify as witnesses for prosecution at the treason trial in absentia of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

The Obolon district court ruled on December 7 that former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, and other current and former officials will also be summoned to testify.

Ukrainian parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy (file photo)
Ukrainian parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy (file photo)

The trial resumed on December 4 after a more than one-month break, and the next hearing is scheduled for December 11.

On October 26, Judge Vladyslav Devyatko granted a request by Yanukovych's new state-appointed lawyer, Ihor Lyashenko, for additional time to get acquainted with the case.

Yanukovych abandoned office in late February 2014 and fled to Russia in the face of protests triggered by his decision to scrap plans for a landmark deal with the European Union and improve trade ties with Moscow instead.

Dozens of people were killed when his government attempted to clamp down on the pro-European protests known as the Euromaidan.

Prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment for Yanukovych, who is accused of treason, violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and abetting Russian aggression.

After he fled, Russia seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and fomented opposition to the central government in eastern Ukraine, where the ensuing war between Kyiv's forces and Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 10,000 people.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and