Ukrainian Parliament Approves Trying Yanukovych at ICC

World | February 25, 2014, Tuesday // 15:33| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Ukrainian Parliament Approves Trying Yanukovych at ICC Viktor Yanukovych. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Lawmakers in Ukraine have voted in favour of trying the fugitive ousted President Viktor Yanukovych at The Hague's International Criminal Court (ICC).

It is unclear whether the ICC would accept a case from Ukraine, as the country is not a signatory to the Rome Convention which established the institution.

The decision was approved overwhelmingly as Ukrainian MPs backed the text of a resolution accusing Yanukovych of involvement in the deaths of more than 100 people during last week's clashes between protesters and riot police.

The interim leadership of Ukraine will also submit a request that former Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko (who ordered the use of firearms on the day of most intense violence in Kiev) and former Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka be tried by the ICC, the Voice of America reports.

On Monday, the interim government in Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass murder.

The whereabouts of Yanukovych have been unknown over the last few days, but according to some reports he is currently on the Crimean peninsula, where he enjoys the support of a Russian-speaking majority.

Risk of separatism in regions with large Russian populations was also addressed during the MPs' session, as interim President Oleksandr Turchynov announced he would meet law enforcement agencies to discuss the "serious threat" of ethnic tensions.

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Tags: Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, International Criminal Court, ICC, Vitaliy Zakharchenko, Oleksandr Turchynov
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