EU lifts sanctions against Viktor Pshonka and his son: court ruling published
The EU has lifted sanctions against former Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka and his son Artem. Pshonka won the relevant case in the European Court of Justice.
The sanctions were recognized as unjustified. Therefore, the EU Council's decision of March 3, 2022 was annulled. This is stated in the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU officially published in Czech and French.
The decision of March 3, 2022 concerned the extension of sanctions against Pshonka. The restrictions against him were first imposed in the EU in 2014. At that time, Pshonka and his son were listed as persons criminally prosecuted in Ukraine for embezzlement of public funds. The court also ordered the EU Council to pay the costs.
"The decision of the Council (CFSP) 2022/376 of 3 March 2022 on restrictive measures directed against certain persons, organizations and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine is revoked in the part that the name of Viktor Pavlovich Pshonka was left in the list of persons, organizations and bodies against whom these restrictive measures are applied," journalists quote the court decision. The ruling also concerns Artem Pshonka.
The EU Court of Justice said that it was unclear whether the EU had made sure that the Ukrainian judicial administration respected the right to defense in local criminal proceedings. As a result, the court questioned whether the sanctions were based on a sufficiently "firm factual basis."
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, earlier Pshonka's lawyer said that the recognition of sanctions unreasonable can be the basis for suing the Ukrainian authorities for recovery of material damage, as well as for bringing the initiators of sanctions to criminal responsibility. The former prosecutor-general will also be able to demand compensation from the European Commission, his defense said.