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Assets of former Ukrainian lawmaker remain frozen in Switzerland

Switzerland's Federal Court said on Wednesday that Ivanyushchenko’s assets remain blocked because of criminal proceedings pending in Switzerland and Ukraine against him. © Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

The assets of former Ukrainian parliamentarian Yuri Ivanyushchenko remain frozen in Switzerland, the Federal Court has ruled. 

This content was published on April 8, 2020 - 15:21
Keystone-SDA/sb

In a decision External linkpublished on Wednesday, Switzerland’s top court confirmed an earlier ruling by the Federal Administrative Court. Ivanyushchenko’s Swiss funds and assets were frozen by the Swiss government following the fall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. 

Switzerland was among the first countries to block the assets of Ukraine's deposed president, as well around 30 other people in his entourage, shortly after Yanukovych was deposed.

On December 13, 2019External link, the Swiss government decided to extend for one year the preventive freeze on the assets of Yanukovych and his entourage – approximately CHF70 million ($72 million) - to support the judicial cooperation between Switzerland and Ukraine. The assets remain blocked in line with regulations on the freezing and restitution of illegally acquired assets of foreign politically exposed persons, which came into force in 2016. 

The Federal Court said on Wednesday that Ivanyushchenko’s assets remain blocked because of criminal proceedings pending in Switzerland and Ukraine against him.

The court said that that conditions for the freeze remain valid, namely that in his country of origin the government had lost power, the level of corruption in Ukraine was high and the assets were probably not obtained legally. 

In 2017, Ivanyushchenko had requested that his name be withdrawn from the list of Ukrainians whose assets had been frozen by the Swiss authorities. He referred to the fact that the European Union and Canada had released his frozen funds. However, the Swiss court rejected this argument.

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