Opposition leader to take part in Avakov extradition hearing
The head of the BYUT – Batkivshchyna faction stated on Monday that he will be attending the hearing in Italy on 10 April on the Ukrainian authorities’ request for the extradition of former Kharkiv Regional Governor and leader of the Kharkiv branch of the Batkivshchyna Party (of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko).
Andriy Kozhemyakhin stated at the Coordination Council of faction and committee heads in parliament that he would be asking the Italian authorities to refuse to extradite Arsen Avakov in view of the political motivation of the criminal case against him.
It was confirmed on 27 March that Avakov had been detained in Italy. Members of the opposition Batkivshchyna Party have written to the Italian authorities setting out their grounds for asserting that the prosecution is politically motivated. In Italy Avakov will be represented by two Italian lawyers.
As reported, the charges against the former Governor and popular opposition politician in Kharkiv are ominously reminiscent of those against Tymoshenko, former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko and others. The charges involve the same “abuse of power” clause which has given cause for concern regarding selective use of justice with relation to more prominent leaders of the opposition.
More details here: West’s credibility at stake if Avakov is extradited to Ukraine