In his first interview since being overthrown, Ukraine’s ex-president says he was “wrong” to invite Russian troops in.
Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s ousted president, has lodged a lawsuit against the Ukrainian government in the European Court of Human Rights for “repeatedly” breaching his human rights.
London-based Joseph Hage Aaronson, a law firm representing Yanukovich, said in a statement on Monday that the former president was not provided a fair trial, his life was put in danger and he was discriminated against.
“His application asks the Court to declare violations of his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to a fair trial (Article 6), the right to an effective investigation of attempts made upon his life and the right to protection (Article 2), and the right not to be discriminated against because of his political status and opinions (Article 14),” the statement said.
Days earlier, Oleksandr Yanukovich, a son of the president, also launched a similar lawsuit against Ukraine in the same court, claiming he was discriminated against because of his status, he was not provided a fair trial and his bank, Vseurkainskyy Bank Rozvytku, was confiscated.
Yanukovich fled to Russia in February 2014 following months of anti-government protests that started in November 2013 after he refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union preferring closer ties with Russia.
More than 118 civilians and 20 policemen were killed in clashes during the protests, according to Ukraine’s interior ministry.
Yanukovich later insisted he was threatened and forced to leave the country.
A district court in Kiev in August began trying the former president in absentia for his alleged role in police shootings on Kiev’s main square at the end of the protest.
His lawyers also said Yanukovich was unable to return to Ukraine for taking part in the trial due to the lack of security.
His ouster has prompted unrest in Ukraine’s eastern regions that turned into a war after the pro-Russian rebels declared independence of Donestk and Luhansk regions.
More than 8,000 people have been killed since war broke out between the government forces and the separatists in April last year.