June 6, 2015 / 9:58 AM / 2 years ago

EU extends sanctions on three Ukraine embezzlement suspects

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has extended sanctions imposed on three people Ukraine suspects of having embezzled funds under former President Viktor Yanukovich, according to a legal notice published on Saturday.

Asset freezes on ex-justice minister Olena Lukash, former education and science minister Dmytro Tabachnyk and Serhiy Klyuyev, the businessman brother of Yanukovich’s former chief of staff, were to have expired on Saturday.

The official journal of the European Union said EU member states had decided that for the two ex-ministers sanctions would now apply until March 6, 2016, while for Klyuyev, a current lawmaker, sanctions would last until October 6, 2015.

The current Ukraine government says Yanukovich, who is in exile in Russia, and his allies looted the state treasury of over $30 billion during his four years in power.

It also accuses some of involvement in killing civilians during protests in February 2014.

Yanukovich, his elder son and his last two prime ministers are among 14 people on whom an EU asset freeze is already in place until March 2016.

The three others had sanctions in place for a shorter period because Ukraine had not started formal legal proceedings against them.

Yanukovich’s younger son, also called Viktor, has been removed from the list after he reportedly died in March when the van he was driving fell through the ice on Lake Baikal.

Yanukovich and some others facing sanctions have filed suits asking the EU’s top court to annul them.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Potter

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