Ukraine again demands to replace the judge in the Scythian gold case
Ukraine again demands to replace the judge in the Scythian gold case
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The decision on the Scythian gold case has been postponed due to the fact that Ukraine again demanded the removal of one of the judges. This was reported on Wednesday by TASS by the official representative of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in the Netherlands, Melissa Zeilstra.

"Currently, the date of the decision on the Scythian gold case has not been determined, since a challenge has been requested again in relation to one of the judges," she said. The official representative clarified that it is about the same judge, D. Oranje, whose objectivity was questioned by the Ukrainian side.

Zeilstra added that the challenge will be dealt with by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, not the Hague Court of Appeal. According to her, the date of hearings on this issue can be determined in 2-3 weeks. Last year, the Ukrainian side already questioned the objectivity of Oranye, which is considering the case of Scythian gold. The reason for his disqualification was the fact that about 10 years ago Oranye represented the interests of the Russian company Promneftstroy in the YUKOS case and worked closely with lawyers Rob Meier and Mariel Coppenol-Lafors, who are currently defending the interests of Crimean museums in the case of Scythian gold.

The Hague Court of Appeal rejected this claim on November 1, 2019, finding no convincing evidence of Oranje's bias against Ukraine. The ruling noted that a judge's impartiality could be called into question on the basis of specific actions or circumstances, but not on the basis of the simple fact that he was a lawyer in the Yukos case.

Scythian gold is a collection of exhibits of more than 2 thousand items that were used to decorate the exhibition "Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea", which was held from February to August 2014 at the Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam. An uncertain situation with the collection arose after the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federation in March 2014. Crimean museums and Ukraine have declared their rights to the exhibits removed from the peninsula.

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The Ukrainian side believes that Scythian gold is part of the country's cultural heritage, which is currently being illegally held by the Netherlands. In addition, Kiev claims ownership of the exhibits. Crimean museums, for their part, consider Scythian gold to be part of their cultural heritage. They fear that if the Allard Pearson Museum donates the exhibits to Ukraine, they will never return to their collection.

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