The number of criminal investigations against Tymoshenko is growing
The tax police have now become the third authority undertaking criminal investigations against the former Prime Minister, presidential candidate and leader of the Batkivshchyna Party, Yulia Tymoshenko.
Serhiy Vlasenko, MP and part of Tymoshenko’s defence team, reports that the tax police have re-started four criminal investigations over the activities of the company United Energy Systems of Ukraine in 1996-1997 (Yulia Tymoshenko figures in all three investigations).
Serhiy Vlasenko says that the former Prime Minister was handed four resolutions dated 2011 and 2003 a few days ago in the SIZO [detention centre] where she has been held since early August.
All the investigations are over alleged tax evasion and attempt to receive unlawful compensation for value added tax.
“I will not speak of the absurdity of the accusations from that time but it should be clear what we are dealing with. Russian gas was supplied to Ukraine according to contract, however on the basis of a suit from the State Tax Administration which was then headed by Mykola Azarov (now Prime Minister – translator), that contract was declared invalid”, Mr Vlasenko explains.
Several investigations are being carried out by the Security Service and the Prosecutor General’s Office. One concerns alleged transfer of debts incurred by United Energy Systems of Ukraine to the Cabinet of Ministers’ budget, while according to the Prosecutor’s Office others involve alleged smuggling of gas, tax evasion and corruption.
All of the cases involving United Energy Systems of Ukraine were closed on the rulings of various level courts, and in 2005 the Supreme Court confirmed that the termination of the cases was lawful.
Serhiy Vlasenko asserts that in reinstating the criminal file closed by the former Prosecutor General Sviatoslav Piskun, the current Prosecutor General (Viktor Pshonka) gave no grounds for his move. Mr Vlasenko believes that the reinstatement of the case was aimed at making Yulia Tymoshenko’s participation in next year’s parliamentary elections impossible.
In the meantime, the State Penitentiary Service is claiming that Ms Tymoshenko’s health problems are her own fault, that on 5 November she supposedly provoked an exacerbation of back pain through