Tymoshenko appeal verdict read out in full in defence’s absence


Interfax Ukraine reports that on Thursday the panel of judges at the Kyiv Court of Appeal made public the full text of their ruling regarding Yulia Tymoshenko’s appeal.  This was apparently attended only by the prosecutors, with Ms Tymoshenko and her defence lawyers not present.

The ruling states that the trial hearings at the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv were held within the framework of the law. it finds unwarranted the statements from Ms Tymoshenko and her lawyers that during the pre-trial investigation and court trial the former Prime Minister was deprived of the right to defence.

The court also found no grounds for the defence’s arguments that the pre-trial investigation had been incomplete.

“Claims that evidence was inadmissible and that the investigation was incomplete are unfounded”, the presiding judge Olena Sitailo read out from the ruling. This stated that neither the investigators nor the court examination had committed any significant infringements of the law.

The ruling asserts that the court thoroughly examined the charges and “correctly categorized her actions since Tymoshenko … having given an instruction to sign unfavourable contracts deliberately used the powers given her”.  The “sentence corresponds to the gravity of the crime she committed”.

The court also found unwarranted the appeals by Ms Tymoshenko against separate rulings issued by the Pechersky District Court.

The Appeal Court’s ruling does not specifiy the penitentiary institution where Ms Tymoshenko is to serve her sentence.

Former Prime Minister and opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced on 8 October to 7 years imprisonment, banned from holding office for three years and also ordered to pay one and a half billion UAH. She was convicted of “abuse of office” in connection with the gas accords signed with Russia in January 2009 after a crisis

The conviction and sentence has been condemned as politically motivated by all democratic countries. Within two days new charges were brought up and old criminal investigations reinstated.  

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