Former minister of interior affairs Vitalii Zakharchenko has failed to appear in court for cross-examination as a defense witness in the case involving the shooting of Euromaidan activists. This was announced by presiding judge Serhii Diachuk, Ukrainian News Agency reports. Zakharchenko was scheduled to testify as a defense witness via a video link from the Rostov Regional Court of Russia. Lawyers representing five former Berkut riot police officers accused of shooting 48 Euromaidan activists asked the former minister of interior affairs to testify as a defense witness. His cross-examination was scheduled to begin at 02:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1, but the head of the Rostov court, German Zhiltsov, said that Zakharchenko failed to appear in court without explanation. “The court notes the witness’ failure to appear,” Ukrainian judge Diachuk confirmed. The reasons for the non-appearance of the former minister of interior affairs have not yet been established. Lawyers for the former Berkut riot police officers asked the court to set another date for cross-examination of Zakharchenko because they consider him an important defense witness. After consultations with his Russian counterpart, Diachuk stated that the cross-examination could not be postponed and closed the court session. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Sviatoshynskyi District Court of Kyiv cross-examined former president Viktor Yanukovych via a video link on November 28, 2016, as a witness in the case against five former Berkut riot police officers accused of shooting 48 Euromaidan activists.