10:50 16.05.2013

France may consider ex-lawmaker Shkil's bid for asylum after Prague's refusal - media

3 min read

The Czech Republic has not granted political asylum to a member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the sixth convocation, Andriy Shkil of the BYT-Batkivschyna, after which he took off on Monday for France, Radio Liberty reported referring to Shkil's lawyer Maryna Makhitkova.

Shkil has not yet commented on these developments, the report says. Radio Liberty also reported that the opposition politician was forced to return from the Czech Republic to France, which issued him a Schengen visa.

"Mr. Shkil has not been expelled from the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic has only suspended the consideration of his request for asylum. The reason for this decision was that the Czech Republic does not have the authority to grant the asylum request, because another country of the European Union should deal with it, according to the so-called Dublin Regulation. This means that since he came to the Czech Republic on the basis of a French visa, this should be France that should consider his request for asylum," Makhitkova said.

According to her, Shkil left the Czech Republic on Monday morning. "He voluntarily went to France. And there he will again submit these documents, and this time this will be France that will consider his request for political asylum," Makhitkova said.

On his page on Facebook, Shkil wrote on May 10: "Well, I am going on the road again... We will see... where I this long road will bring me."

Shkil was No. 87 on the list of parliamentary candidates of the Batkivschyna United Opposition, which received 62 seats on party lists at the 2012 parliamentary elections in Ukraine. In 2001, Shkil was the leader of the UNA-UNSO nationalist organization, and headed the action "Ukraine without Kuchma". In March, he was arrested and spent a year in a detention facility, but was released due to his being elected to parliament

In early 2013, Shkil applied for political asylum in the Czech Republic. Shkil said that political persecutions against him never stopped and a case on events on March 9, 2001 outside the presidential administration during the "Ukraine without Kuchma" action has not been closed.

He also confirmed reports that a part of his property was arrested in Ukraine and said that he did not know the reason for this. "I never was engaged in any other activities, except for politics," he said.

There are no grounds for the prosecution of former MP Andriy Shkil, who went to the Czech Republic, representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry told Kommersant-Ukraineaine Newspaper. Ukrainian First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin has said that Shkil has nothing to fear as the criminal case against him as its period of limitations has expired.

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