On June 9, 2021, the General Court of the EU annulled the freezing of funds imposed upon the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleksandr Yanukovych. These restrictive measures were initially adopted by the Council for one year in March 2014, following the suppression of demonstrations by Ukranian authorities when Viktor Yanukovych was still president. During this time, the father and son were also facing criminal proceedings in Ukraine accused of the embezzlement of State funds and the illegal transfer of funds outside of the Ukraine.
The restrictive measures were extended each year from 2015 to 2021 by the EU Council on the grounds that the two were subject to criminal proceedings in Ukraine related to the misappropriation of funds. In 2019, the father and son challenged the Council’s 2015 – 2018 extensions, and the court annulled the restrictive measures against them due to the Council’s failure to verify whether Viktor and Oleksandr Yanukovych were afforded the right of the defense and the right to effective judicial protection in the Ukrainian criminal proceedings. In the matter recently before the court, the father and son challenged the Council’s 2019 – 2021 extensions, and once again, the restrictive measures were annulled on the same grounds as those provided in the 2019 decision.