The former president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, who is on in-absentia trial on high treason charges, returned the paid-for lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk to represent him.
Serdyuk appeared at the court session on Monday, December 11 in the Obolonsky district court of Kyiv. He read out the notarized statement of Yanukovych issued on 8 December, 2017 addressed to the lawyer association Aver Lex about the participation of its lawyers Vitaliy Serdyuk, Ihor Fedorenko and Adriana Fozekosh in the trial.
Free lawyer Ihor Lyashenko said he will pull out of the trial.
In early summer, Yanukovych said that he did not intend to participate in the trial and withdrew his defence team and assigned a free lawyer. The first of them, Vladyslav Meshechek, soon resigned, the second, Maksym Herasko, was dismissed for "unprofessionalism", while the third, Ihor Lyashenko did not have time to defend Yanukovych.
Yanukovych is charged is charged of high treason that he committed on 1 March, 2014, while staying on the territory of the Russian Federation, by requested in a written statement to the President of the Russian Federation to use Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine. Subsequently, this move cost Ukraine the loos of Crimea and along with the state property objects worth over 1,080 trillion hryvnia.
Yanukovych, who hiding from justice in the territory of Russia is tried in absentia.