Thursday

23rd May 2019

Interpol red-flags former Ukraine leader as EU deadline looms

  • Yankovych is believed to be hiding in Russia (Photo: interpol.org)

Interpol, the international police agency, has red-flagged former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych and three associates.

It said on Monday (12 January) they are wanted in Ukraine on charges of “misappropriation, embezzlement or conversion of property by malversation … in respect of an especially gross amount”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The other men are: former Ukrainian PM Mykola Azarov; ex-finance minister Iurii Kolobov; and a former Ukrainian telecoms executive Georgii Dzekon.

For his part, Ukraine interior minister Arsen Avakov said the same day on his Facebook page that Interpol has also put one of Yushchenko’s sons, Olexandr, under a red notice.

The EU last March imposed an asset freeze on Yanukovych and 17 others, including Azarov, Kolobov, and Yanukovych junior.

It is unclear how many of them have been flagged by Interpol because it sometimes keeps its notifications quiet.

The Lyon, France-based police agency, also on Monday, noted a previous Ukrainian request to red-flag the ex-president on charges of “abuse of power and murder” is still pending.

It added that it never issues red notices for “political” reasons.

With Yanukovych believed to be hiding in Russia, it also underlined that a “red notice” does not oblige Interpol members to arrest or extradite people, but merely informs them that a fellow member is seeking help.

Meanwhile, Avakov complained that Russia is refusing to honour 23 bilateral extradition requests on former regime members.

Yanukovych fled his mansion in the outskirts of Kiev last February after he was deserted by his security forces amid an increasingly violent uprising.

His former home has been turned into a museum of corruption.

He has been charged in Kiev with abuse of power, organised mass murder, and public calls for the overthrow of the constitutional order, but not treason.

Ukraine prosecutors have also filed corruption cases against Yanukovych, Azarov, and most of the other names on the EU blacklist.

But Ukrainska Pravda, a Ukrainian investigative website, reported last month that most of the investigations are moving at a snail’s pace.

It added that sluggish EU implementation of its own measures has seen some of them move around assets in Cyprus, Austria, Germany, and Italy.

All 18 of the EU-listed persons have challenged the measure in the EU court in Luxembourg.

Their official designation says the EU did it because they are “subject to investigation in Ukraine for … the embezzlement of Ukrainian state funds”.

Ukrainska Pravda notes that if Ukrainian prosecutors cannot substantiate the charges against them by 6 march - the date the EU blacklist expires - then EU institutions might opt not to extend them for another year.

Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

News in Brief

  1. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  2. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal
  3. UK sacked defence secretary backs Johnson for leader
  4. Dutch voter turnout so far slightly down on 2014
  5. Report: Hungary's Fidesz 'bought' Belgian official
  6. Poll: Denmark set to double number of liberal MEPs
  7. European brands 'breaking' chemical safety rules
  8. Report: Merkel was lobbied to accept EU top job

Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Polling booths open in UK's limbo EU election
  2. Dutch PM puts EU exit on agenda with election gamble
  3. EU development aid used to put European police in Senegal
  4. EU should stop an insane US-Iran war
  5. EU faces moment of truth at midnight on Sunday
  6. Dutch MPs: EU sanctions should bear Magnitsky name
  7. Far-right hate speech flooded Facebook ahead of EU vote
  8. Key details on how Europeans will vote

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us