Deputy Prosecutor General Yenin’s explanation is wrong

September 14, 2017

You can download this press release as a PDF in English or Russian.

 

Reference is made to our earlier Press Releases dated 7 September 2017 and 11 September 2017 to the effect that:

Under Article 8 of Council Regulation (EU) No 208/2014, which imposed the European Union’s sanctions on President Yanukovych and Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych, EU Member States and others were required to inform the European Commission immediately of all and any information that they had regarding funds and economic resources owned or controlled by President Yanukovych and Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych which were frozen in accordance with the Regulation.

Despite the passage of three and a half years since the sanctions were imposed, and the reporting requirement just referred to, the European Commission has now formally confirmed that it has not received under that Article any information on funds or economic resources owned or controlled by President Yanukovych or Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych which were frozen as a result of the EU Sanctions.

In a statement on 12 September 2017, the Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Yevgeny Yenin, sought to explain that, despite the European Commission’s express confirmation, there was or might be such information in the hands of the European Commission or EU Member States that was not being disclosed. He sought to explain this in essentially two ways (1) “that in most EU Countries access to this information is restricted and cannot be given to third parties who are not related to the criminal proceedings” and (2) that “the response of the European Commission is worded accordingly”.

Joe Hage, a partner in Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, the law firm acting for President Yanukovych and Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych, said:

“The Deputy Prosecutor General’s explanation is wrong for at least three reasons.

First, if any of the EU Member States had information on funds or economic resources owned or controlled by President Yanukovych or Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych which were frozen as a result of the EU Sanctions, they were legally obliged to provide it to the European Commission.

Second, the express wording of the European Commission’s confirmation statement was that: “Under Article 8 of Council Regulation (EU) No. 208/2014 the Commission has not received any information on frozen funds or economic resources” relating to President Yanukovych or Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych.

The European Commission has never asserted that access to information could not be provided to us or our clients because such access was restricted.

Third, the request was made by my firm to the European Commission and not to individual EU Member States. Therefore, whether or not access to this information is restricted in most or any EU Member States is irrelevant: the information, if it existed, would be with the European Commission.

It is very noticeable that the authorities in Ukraine have not stated what specific assets or economic resources of President Yanukovych and Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych are said to have been frozen by the EU sanctions.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP is a law firm based in London representing President Yanukovych and Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych:

www.jha.com

Enquiries to: Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, Tel.: +44 (0)20 7851 8888

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