Former President Kravhuk also condemns detention of Tymoshenko
The first President of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk has issued a statement in connection with the decision by the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv to remand former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in custody.
He points out that the decision elicited strong reaction both in Ukraine and abroad and states:
“Indeed in this Pechersky Court ruling fundamental things for a democratic society are intertwined: democracy, the law, human rights and freedoms. The court whether it wanted to or not has placed in doubt the regime’s democratic statements”
He goes on to say that many people are asking whether the country is not crossing a border beyond which instead of the law anything goes and where there is arbitrary rule instead of observance of democratic procedures.
He lists the grounds for taking any person into custody, and points out that the court has given no evidence of such grounds in Tymoshenko’s case. Instead it referred to infringements by the defendant of established rules of behaviour in court. He agrees that these rules should be adhered to, “however infringement of these rules cannot constitute grounds for remanding a person in custody”.
Mr Kravchuk then states that detention cannot muffle Yulia Tymoshenko.
“The Pechersky District Court issued an unwarranted, incommensurate and politically inexcusable decision to remand Yulia Tymoshenko in custody. With this it did considerable damage to Ukraine since this is not a matter of Yulia Tymoshenko alone, but of the general legal, general democratic context”.
He points out that Ukraine has seen such things in its history and we know the consequences, the millions of victims. To safeguard democracy, he stresses, there must be a stop put to a situation of legal permissiveness.
“”Through such actions the Ukrainian justice system seriously impedes our road to Europe, and elicits lack of faith in the statements of the Ukrainian regime regarding our democratic course”.
“It is becoming ever harder to prove that the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko does not have a political agenda.”
He believes that both the ruling of the Pechersky District Court , and the entire court proceedings against Ms Tymoshenko, jeopardize political stability in Ukraine.
Mr Kravchuk focuses attention also on the reaction of the Russian government which stresses that the gas accords which Tymoshenko’s prosecution is in connection with were in accordance with both Ukrainian and Russian legislation, with international standards and that their signing was sanctioned by both countries’ Presidents.
Leonid Kravchuk writes that as the first President of independent Ukraine, as a person who believes in Ukraine’s future through democracy and rule of law, he saus that he cannot just sit and watch while Ukraine moves away from a law-based democratic road.
“After official assessment by the regime of what has happened in the Pechersky Court, it real steps towards democracy, I will draw my final conclusions, including regarding my personal participation in political processes, my position”.
“The future of Ukraine is in the hands of its people”