Kiev court declines request to question Urmas Paet

MEP and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet.
MEP and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet. Source: (Juan Carlos Hidalgo/EPA)

Obolonsky District Court of Kyiv has denied a motion filed by the lawyers of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to question the former foreign ministers of several countries, including former Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet (Reform), and some other diplomats.

"The persons in question have diplomatic immunity and the defense did not provide confirmation of their consent to testify," Judge Vladyslav Devyatko was reported by Interfax as saying at a hearing on Wednesday.

Yanukovych's lawyers insisted that the Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Poland's Radoslaw Sikorski, and France's Laurent Fabius could provide information about the signing of the agreement on settling the crisis in Ukraine on February 21, 2014, in which they all were immediately involved.

The lawyers also argued in favor of the questioning of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, stating that during the Maidan events in 2014, she had contacted opposition activists who later came to power. The defense lawyers wanted Paet questioned for the same reason.

Yanukovych's defense also argued that Ashton and Paet could provide details about their telephone conversation regarding the killing of activists on the Maidan.

The court also chose not to question former Chairman of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok, former European Commission spokesperson Olivier Bailly, former Latvian Ambassador to Ukraine Argita Daudze, former Lithuanian Ambassador to Ukraine Petras Vaitiekūnas, and former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors.

MEP Urmas Paet served as Estonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs from April 2005 through November 2014.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: Interfax-BNS

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