Switzerland To Adopt Law To Speed Return Of Yanukovych's Assets To Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian authorities started to prosecute in absentia disgraced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Viktor Yanukovych delivers a speech in Kiev on Feb. 14, 2014.

Switzerland expects to adopt a new law by the end of the year that will speed restitution of illicit funds stashed in the Alpine country, where thousands of 'politically exposed persons' are believed to hold bank accounts, a top Swiss official said on Monday, according to Reuters.

"Swiss authorities are cooperating with a number of countries, among them [are] Haiti, Egypt, Tunisia and Ukraine, to return stolen assets that have been frozen following changes in power," said Valentin Zellweger, the head of the foreign ministry's federal department of international law.

"The two houses of the Swiss parliament still need to reconcile their versions of the new draft law, including the issue of a statute of limitations," Zellweger said.

"I guess that we will only have the statute by the end of the year," he said.

"It will be the most comprehensive act worldwide... it is the right thing to do," Zellweger said.

As reported earlier, Swiss Ambassador to Ukraine Christian Schoenenberger said that Switzerland was awaiting the provision of reliable data by Ukraine on assets stolen from the Ukrainian people by the regime of its ousted former president.

He said Ukraine's General Prosecutor's Office still has to provide a sufficient evidentiary basis to enable the return of the frozen assets of the previous government to Ukraine.

The assets of former President Viktor Yanukovych and his associates have been frozen in Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands and other countries.

Source: Ukraine Today