European Court orders Ukraine’s government to pay legal costs of President Yanukovych
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The European Court of Justice has dismissed an appeal by Ukraine against an order for it to pay the legal costs of President Viktor Yanukovych and his sons.
The original decision of the General Court of the European Union resulted from an abortive attempt by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to intervene in legal proceedings brought by President Yanukovych and his sons seeking to overturn financial sanctions imposed on them by the European Union. In the face of their opposition to the intervention, in December 2014 the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine unilaterally withdrew from the proceedings. Despite the fact that the General Court ordered Ukraine’s Government to pay the legal costs of President Yanukovych and his sons in March 2015, Ukraine’s representatives waited over a year before attempting to appeal that order to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, in June 2016.
In an order dated 5 October 2016 and published yesterday, the European Court of Justice has now dismissed the appeal and confirmed that Ukraine’s Government will have to pay not only the legal costs of its failed intervention, but also the costs of its unsuccessful appeal. This ruling follows an earlier success in which the General Court found that the European Union had acted unlawfully in imposing a number of sanctions on President Yanukovych and his sons in 2014.
Joe Hage, of the English law firm Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP which represented President Yanukovych and his family in the European court proceedings, said: “This is an important ruling. Our clients challenged sanctions imposed by the EU in 2014 on the basis of one letter in which the Ukrainian authorities made politically motivated and unsubstantiated allegations. Their attempt to intervene in the EU sanctions proceedings, and to bring an impermissible appeal when ordered to pay our clients’ costs, is similarly politically motivated.”
Notes to editors
Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP is a law firm based in London:
The texts of the Court’s Orders are available on the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Case C-317/16 P (Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych)
Case C-318/16 P (Viktor Viktorovych Yanukovych)
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