Lawyer: Ivashchenko case disintegrating in court
The case of former Acting Defence Minister in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, Valery Ivashchenko, is disintegrating at the stage of questioning of experts, the defence asserts. According to Mr Ivashchenko’s lawyers, the expert opinions ordered by the Prosecutor General’s Office were carried out by specialists without sufficient qualification and their results therefore contain erroneous or non-objective information.
The defence maintains that the assessment on which the charges against Valery Ivashchenko are based is not objective or professional. The lawyers point out that data taken into account when calculating the value of the Feodosia Marine Engineering Works given in one part of the file differ from the same data on other pages.
Furthermore, the defence was unable to ascertain, during the questioning of economist Yulia Snihurova, how the work of the expert group was financed. Judge Serhiy Vovk (the same judge who on 27 February sentenced Yury Lutsenko to four years imprisonment – translator) rejected the questions regarding this posed by the defendant and his defence. Valery Ivashchenko told the court that the procedure and size of remuneration had a direct relation to the objectivity of the expert assessment.
The Feodosia Marine Engineering Works were valued at 71 million UAH. Petro Koval asserts that the assessment and calculation were carried out thoroughly and objectively, and says that the works were sold for 17 million UAH.
Ivashchenko’s lawyer, Boris Nechyporenko pointed out that Ms Snihurova had acknowledged that she does not have official court expert status and that she had carried out the assessment as a member of the NGO “All-Ukrainian Union of Expert Valuers”.
Mr Nechyporenko also stressed that his client’s health is deteriorating. He said that he has back problems and almost no feeling in one leg and needs treatment outside the SIZO [remand unit]. The medical care he is receiving in the SIZO is insufficient, the lawyer asserts.
Valery Ivashchenko has been in detention for over a year and a half (since August 2010). He is charged with having, in November 2009 while Acting Minister of Defence abused his position by signing a plan to sell the Feodosia Marine Engineering Works which was property of the Ministry of Defence. Please see the Second Preliminary Report by the Danish Helsinki Committee on Human Rights, where Valery Ivashchenko’s case is one of those examined.