Prosecutor General reopens criminal investigation against Yulia Tymoshenko



The Prosecutor General, Viktor Pshonka announced on Monday that the decision to terminate a criminal investigation against Yulia Tymoshenko in 2005 had been revoked. The investigation then was over alleged embezzlement of 25 million UAH (about $3 million) and tax evasion amounting to 20 million UAH. 

The Prosecutor General’s Office is also lodging a cassation appeal against what it alleges was “the unlawful decision by the court to terminate other episodes of criminal activity over the above-mentioned criminal case”.

It added that the pre-trial investigation is being carried out by the tax police.

On 13 October the Security Service [SBU] announced that a new criminal investigation had been initiated against Yulia Tymoshenko and former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko over alleged embezzlement.

The SBU investigators allege that Ms Tymoshenko illegally transferred more than $400m (£255m) of debt from her energy company to the State 15 years ago. Ivan Derevyanko, from the SBU, stated on Thursday that Ms Tymoshenko was at the time president and de facto owner of the company United Energy Systems of Ukraine.  The SBU are claiming that the money was transferred to her own bank card and some Swiss bank accounts, as part of a prior conspiracy with Pavlo Lazarenko, whose name the accounts were in. Lazarenko who served for a while as Prime Minister in the 1990s was imprisoned in the USA in 2006 for embezzlement and money-laundering.

This announced came only two days after the guilty verdict and 7 year prison sentence meted out to Ms Tymoshenko over “exceeding her authority” over the signing of gas accords with Russia in 2009 was condemned throughout the world at the highest level.

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