Viktor Yanukovych's son demands Estonia release information on his sanctioning(4)
Oleksandr Yanukovych had his lawyers deliver the letter to Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Justice Ministry and Finance Ministry at the beginning of October.
Lawyers are seeking all information that different Estonian ministries have collected investigating Oleksandr Yanukovych, who was included in the travel ban list in March along with his brother and other allies of Viktor Yanukovych.
Although the letter was sent to three ministries, it falls mostly under the responsibilities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The spokeswoman of the ministry, Ms Mariann Sudakov, remained tight-lipped commenting the letter, only saying that they are planning to reply to it.
It is difficult to say what is the wider aim of the letter and why was it addressed to Estonia, as sanctions are collective decision by the EU. According to foreign policy expert Mr Ahto Lobjakas, it would be most interesting to know whether the letter was sent only to Estonia or was it addressed to other EU countries as well.
"Travel restrictions are imposed at EU level, Estonia was part of the decision and it was passed unanimously," said Lobjakas. He added that a letter like this can be a sign of Oleksandr Yanukovych's intent to take the EU to the court.
Lobjakas thought that Estonian Foreign Ministry might have been the addressee of the letter because the East-European countries were most active pushing for the sanctions. "Undoubtedly it is a sign of some sort of worry. It is known that Yanukovych has a lot of money invested in Europe."
Human rights expert Mr Silver Meikar, who is currently in Ukraine, pointed to the same. According to him, Oleksandr Yanukovych is being investigated in Ukraine as well. However, as this process has been dragging, a case against the EU might be the only chance to get his back frozen funds.
It was the investigation in Ukraine that prompted EU sanctions against Yanukovych, based on allegations that he was part of crimes in embezzling state funds and channelling them illegally abroad.
"Perhaps he is trying to use an opportunity that would allow him to park at least part of the hundreds of millions stolen to a safe place?" thought Meikar.
It is known that the personal fortune of Oleksandr Yanukovych, who is a dentist by training, ballooned after his father came to power in Ukraine. Local magazine Fokus judged that his personal worth was 336 million euros, which makes him one of the richest men in Ukraine.
Viktor Yanukovych took the EU to court over the sanctions already in July. Both the father and the son are represented by lawyers from Joseph Hage Aaronson LLC in London.
Requests from Eesti Päevaleht to the law firm for comment on the letters to Estonian ministries were left unanswered.