Jerzy Buzek on the sentencing of former PM Tymoshenko
The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, made the following statement on todays sentence of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to 7 years in prison:
"I deeply regret the Ukrainian courts decision to sentence former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to 7 years in prison.
The context and conditions of this verdict raise concerns about its politically motivated nature and about a selective application of the rule of law in Ukraine. I have serious doubts about fairness, independence and transparency of this trial.
The law applied against Tymoshenko dates back to the Soviet times and envisages criminal prosecution for political decisions. This is a rare practice in democratic countries. Ukraine is a great nation that deserves better.
I hope the Criminal Code will be amended soon, as currently discussed in the Verkhovna Rada. Article 365, which has been used against Tymoshenko, is of particular concern.
I expect the verdict to be reconsidered in case of an appeal process.
Strengthening the rule of law and a credible fight against corruption are essential not only for the conclusion of the Association Agreement by the end of the year and the deepening of EU-Ukraine relations, but also for the consolidation of democracy in Ukraine.
I urge Ukraine to uphold the principles and common values that define our relationship and that form the core of the Eastern partnership."
Note to editors:
European Parliament resolution of 9 June 2011 on "Ukraine: the cases of Yulia Tymoshenko and other members of the former government":