KYIV, Ukraine, Feb. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - On February 15, 2016, Pechersk District Court of Kyiv, contrary to Ukrainian law, sustained a motion of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine to hold a special pre-trial investigation against the former Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Serhiy Arbuzov. Thereby the court brought about the opportunity for what is understood to have been a politically-motivated conviction in absentia of Serhiy Arbuzov, accused of crimes he did not commit, by the current Ukrainian authorities.
The way the trial was conducted - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLVDhrnruhs&feature=youtu.be (subtitles should be turned on) - seemed to speak to the court's disregard of rules of law under pressure from the prosecution. The law does not provide for any exceptions to the mandatory participation of defense counsel in a hearing of a motion. However, the court ruled on the case without the presence of Serhiy Arbuzov's lawyers. It should be noted that the defense did not evade participation in the process.
It should also be noted that the lawyers, appointed additionally on the instructions of the court through the Legal Aid Centre, insisted on the need for compliance with the law by the court. However, the court did not respond to the request of the third-party lawyers.
The hearing on the merits of the case lasted two minutes; the court did not demand any explanation from investigators or prosecutors and asked no questions. The defense understands this to be indicative of the bias of the court and coerced decisions.
The defense intends to appeal against the decision in court, including with the European Court of Human Rights, if the higher courts in Ukraine do not reverse the decision in respect of Serhiy Arbuzov.
According to Serhiy Arbuzov, the weakness of charges against him and the inability of the authorities to complete investigation of at least one of these for a year and a half, are evidence of the political nature of the accusations from representatives of the prosecutor's office and the absence of corpus delicti in his actions.
The General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg, on January 28, decided to annul the freezing of Serhiy Arbuzov's assets, ruling that a person cannot be treated as being responsible for misappropriation of assets solely on the ground of a preliminary investigation in a third country.
SOURCE Press office of Sergiy Arbuzov