Yanukovych’s attempt to return using KDAC

by Olena Shcherban. originally published on UP

Recently, the Supreme Court of Ukraine as the last instance confirmed the decision regarding the treason of former President Viktor Yanukovych. 

Almost simultaneously with this news, it was informed that Yanukovych sent the appeal to the scandalous Kyiv District Administrative Court that the Parliament had no right to remove him from the office.

It is obvious to lawyers that the lawsuit of the former President was submitted to the wrong court. 

According to the law, such cases should be considered exclusively by the Supreme Court. Moreover, deadlines for such lawsuits from the former President have passed a long time ago. After all, the procedural law gives the person 6 months to send an appeal to the court from the moment when he or she learned or could have learned about the decision. As you know, this deadline has long expired.

In these circumstances, it is clear that Yanukovych’s lawsuit is part of the Russian propaganda.

Against the background of information about building of Russian troops near borders of Ukraine, this is the step that should become part of propaganda narratives about the so-called “legitimacy” of the traitor.

And Yanukovych chose this court not by chance. The Kyiv District Administrative Court is known not only for corruption and numerous criminal cases. Even after the Revolution of Dignity this court remained part of the influence of the Russian Federation.

It is no secret that Yanukovych’s ally Andriy Portnov, who recently received the US sanctions, has influence over this court. And some judges who are now the backbone of the corrupt system of the court, as well as the head of the court Pavlo Vovk, were appointed during Yanukovych’s presidency.

Thus, the KDAC together with Yanukovych follow instructions of the aggressor country and can continue to create already legal pseudo-preconditions for the legitimacy of the former President. The very fact of initiating the proceeding in such case will be an informational reason for propaganda mouthpieces.

However, the existence of only decision regarding treason against Yanukovych gives him the opportunity to speak about the political motivation of the case and his persecution.

That is why it is even more important to bring the case regarding his corruption to logical conclusion. This will give the Ukrainian governmet possibility to speak reasonably, factually and legally about the corruption of Yanukovych’s time as the basis of his power.

Bringing Yanukovych’s corruption cases to the court and decisions is the national interest. This is about the ability of the state to investigate and establish obvious facts.

Only decisions in corruption cases will allow the state to recover his property in Ukraine, as well as assets abroad, if they could be found later.

I should remind you that Yanukovych and his son are still under sanctions of the European Union.

However, every year the sanction list of high-ranking officials of that time is constantly reduced. If it contained 22 people in 2014, now it has only 7.

This is consequence of the systematic dumping of such proceedings, which took place more than 5 years after the Revolution of Dignity.

In 2019-2020, corruption cases of officials of that time were gradually transferred to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO). However, at the time of transfer the newly established anti-corruption bodies no longer had chance to revive the number of proceedings in many cases.

The striking example is the case of former tax officer Oleksandr Klymenko. At the time of admission to the NABU and the SAPO deadlines for investigation in the case have trivially expired. And for more than three months. Transferring it to the court would be trivial deception and waste of resources.

But then the Prosecutor General’s Office did not want to leave this ballast and negative public assessment to itself and simply gave away tons of garbage evidence to the newly created anti-corruption bodies.

However, prospects are much better in cases regarding Yanukovych himself. This is primarily about the case regarding the seizure of the residence Mezhyhirya. This case is actually at the final stage.

Only the anti-corruption authorities finally managed to put things in order there.

This year, according to the appeal of the SAPO, the Anti-Corruption Court has already chosen precautionary measures for Yanukovych and his son in the form of detention and allowed the procedure in absentia. 

For the first time in six years, the newly created anti-corruption bodies duly described all Yanukovych’s property in Mezhyhirya (starting from buildings and ending with decor and asphalt pavement of the territory) and arrested it as part of the criminal proceeding.

This created legal grounds for returning this property to the state ownership in case of verdict of guilty of the court. According to the investigation, Yanukovych and his son with the help of other high-ranking officials of that time (Klyuyev and Stavytskyi) illegally seized the land plot of the residence and the property complex on its territory.

The losses are estimated at 540 million UAH.

Taking this case to the court will deal another blow to the pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. It is especially gratifying that such blow is dealt by institutions created after the Revolution of Dignity.

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