A court in Italy has placed former head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Arsen Avakov under house arrest as a preventive measure, Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office told Interfax-Ukraine.
"The judicial authorities of Italy released Avakov from custody on April 12, and at the same time applied to him the house arrest as a preventive measure before the issue of his extradition to Ukraine is resolved. The relevant authorities of Italy currently continue extradition proceedings at a request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine," the press secretary of the prosecutor general of Ukraine, Marharyta Velkova, said.
According to her, thus the court satisfied a proposal of the prosecutor, who asked the court to put Avakov under house arrest, while the defense team asked to release him.
Head of the BYT-Batkivschyna parliamentary faction Andriy Kozhemiakin earlier reported that a court in Rome ordered the release of Avakov from detention.
On Tuesday, March 27, reports of Avakov’s detention in Italy were confirmed. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said that it was preparing a package of documents for Avakov’s extradition to Ukraine. In this regard, the leadership of the Batkivschyna Party sent letters to the Interpol secretary general and the Italian government with a request to take into account "the obvious political motivation" behind Avakov’s criminal prosecution, and release him.
On March 29, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said that the judicial authorities in Italy had decided to place Avakov in custody for 40 days.
On January 31, charges were brought against Avakov under Part 3, Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Avakov headed Kharkiv Regional State Administration from February 2004 until February 2010. He chairs the Kharkiv regional organization of the Batkivschyna Party.