KIEV, October 31 (RAPSI) – A law on trial in absentia, under which a trial of the alleged crimes of former resident Viktor Yanukovich can be completed, became effective on Friday, TASS reports.

The full text of the law was published prior to it becoming effective by the parliamentary newspaper Golos Ukrainy.

President Petro Poroshenko signed this law to amend the country’s criminal and criminal procedure codes and to give the courts the right to hold trials in absentia if the suspect is a fugitive from justice and is outside Ukraine.

Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko, who presented the bill, said that it would allow them to close dozens of criminal cases opened against former officials, primarily Viktor Yanukovich, former Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov [who chaired the government during the February coup – Ed.] and other officials, under which assets worth tens of billions of hryvnias have been seized but cannot be transferred to the state budget without a court decision.”

The press service of the Ukrainian president pointed out that the law which Poroshenko signed stipulated “the unavoidability of punishment for certain crimes against national security and public safety and also corruption-related crimes.”