Appeal – and Yulia Tymoshenko’s medical diagnosis – in her absence
Judge Olena Sitailo
On Tuesday the panel of judges hearing former Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s appeal rejected the defence’s application for the presiding judge Olena Sitailo to be withdrawn, stating simply that it saw no grounds.
The application was made after Olena Sitailo read out the diagnosis given in the SIZO [detention centre] medical certificate from 15 December. The MPs present at the hearing were outraged and began chanting “Shame!” and clapping to drown out the Judge’s address, while Ms Tymoshenko’s lawyers immediately began preparing an application for Olena Sitailo’s removal.
There are conflicting accounts as to whether Ms Tymoshenko was prevented from attending the hearing, or as Judge Sitailo asserted, apparently quoting the State Penitentiary Service, , she “categorically refused to be brought to the court”, refusing to move unaided because of back pain.