Poland, Germany and Czech Republic all issue strong statements over conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko
Poland: Statement on the conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko
Poland has consistently supported, and still supports, the Ukrainian nation in its European choice. Ukraine’s European aspirations stand for the necessity to strengthen and apply the norms and standards typical of the political and social order of the European Union. Poland along with the European Union and its Member States observe with concern the trial of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The manner in which the trial is conducted and today’s conviction are the example of politicization of the Ukrainian judiciary. Ukraine’s image as a country that is undertaking a fundamental pro-European transformation has been tarnished.
Poland has repeatedly emphasized, both within the EU and in direct contacts with the Ukrainian authorities, that everything should be done to ensure that the trial is fair, transparent and conducted in compliance with all the rights that the accused should enjoy. Further proceedings will demonstrate whether or not Ukraine is moving towards or drifting away from the European integration – the goal its leaders declared to pursue and Ukrainian society keenly supports.
Germany: Foreign Minister Westerwelle: Timoshenko verdict a setback for rule of law in Ukraine
Yulia Timoshenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, was today found guilty of “abuse of office” and sentenced to a seven-year prison term as well as payment of a large sum in “damages”. After serving her term she is to be barred from public office for three years.
In this connection Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has issued the following statement:
“The verdict announced today in the case against former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko is a setback for Ukraine.
It regrettably casts a very bad light on the rule of law in the country. This cannot fail to have consequences for our bilateral relations as well as the EU’s relations with Ukraine.
We will be keeping a very close watch now on how Kyiv deals with the Timoshenko case and the cases of other former government members.
From Ukraine’s political leaders we expect a commitment to democracy and the rule of law.”
The former Prime Minister’s trial began on 24 June 2011. Since 5 August she has been held in custody for “contempt of court”. Since spring 2010, Ukraine’s prosecutor-general has been conducting investigations into numerous members of the former government and their associates.
Czech Republic: Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Yulia Tymoshenko
11.10.2011 / 13:19
The Czech Republic was alarmed by the verdict of the Pechersk District Court in Ukraine in the case of Ms Yulia Tymoshenko. Former Ukrainian prime minister was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment.
The verdict comes after a trial which did not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process. The verdict illustrates how far away the Ukrainian understanding of criminal and political responsibility is from the EU one. It reveals lasting discrepancies in legal culture. The Czech Republic cannot accept the verdict which might be further abused in a political fight.
It is not the aim of the Czech Republic to give Ukraine, that according to the wishes of its citizens and current elites wishes to head for the European Union, any lessons. It is not only the case of Ms Yulia Tymoshenko. All the Ukrainian politicians, and especially those waiting for the verdict like Mr. Y. Lucenko, should have an indisputable right to take part in the Ukrainian political process including the passive right to vote.
The Czech Republic desires Ukraine, its European neighbour, to be an independent country without political prisoners, a country with an open plural political system where the national will is a decisive voice of the elections. Only then the Czech Republic will be ready to accept the Ukraine’s application for the EU membership.