The Prosecutor General of Ukraine “joyfully awaits” the return of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych for questioning, Ukrainian public prosecutor Vyacheslav Kutsenko has announced, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday.
Speaking on the 112 Ukraine television channel, Kutsenko complained that Yanukovych has not set foot in Ukraine since being removed from his post despite the efforts of the Prosecutor General.
“The Prosecutor General’s calls are well known to Yanukovych and his lawyers. I even joke that we have prepared a sexual gift for him, only if he arrives. But, unfortunately he’s not coming,” Kutsenko said, RIA Novosti reported.
Yanukovych’s lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk announced on Tuesday that his client wants to return to Ukraine, but fears for his life owing to the unwillingness of the Prosecutor General and Ministry of Internal Affairs to investigate an assassination attempt. He added that Yanukovych is not the subject of an international manhunt and is free to travel worldwide, RIA Novosti reported.
Ukrainian law enforcement are investigating five criminal cases involving the former president, including the embezzlement of public funds and complicity in the violence on Kiev's Maidan Square in winter 2014.
However, the Ukrainian public prosecutor says that Russia “still has not responded to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s letter requesting assistance in carrying out direct investigative action,” RIA Novosti reported.
Yanukovych was removed from power in a coup d’etat on Feb 22, 2014, and replaced by Petro Poroshenko following an election.