The General Court of the European Union has annulled the Council's 2019 acts extending the fund-freezing measures imposed on Viktor Yanukovych, former President of Ukraine, and his son, Oleksandr Yanukovych, the press service of the Court has reported.
"The Council failed to demonstrate that the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection were respected in the criminal proceedings underlying that extension which are being conducted against those individuals by the Ukrainian authorities," the Court said.
The Court finds that the Council took into account a series of judicial decisions relating to those criminal proceedings as part of the factual basis justifying the maintenance of the restrictive measures at issue. However, the Council did not demonstrate that it had actually examined those decisions and that it was able to conclude from them that the essence of the procedural rights of the individuals concerned had been complied with.
"In those circumstances, the Court states that it cannot be established that, prior to the adoption of the contested acts, the Council satisfied itself that the Ukrainian judicial authorities complied with the rights of defence and the right to effective judicial protection of the individuals in question in the context of the criminal proceedings at issue. Therefore, in deciding to maintain the names of both men on the list of persons subject to restrictive measures, the Council made an error of assessment. Consequently, the General Court annuls the contested acts," the Court said.