Hearing into second prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko also postponed
The Kyivsky District Court in Kharkiv has allowed an application from the State prosecution and postponed the hearing into the second trial of former Prime Minister and opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko until the end of June. This follows a similar move by the High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases which was due last Tuesday to begin its examination of Ms Tymoshenko’s cassation appeal against her conviction over the 2009 gas agreement with Russia on Tuesday.
The prosecution’s application is, it asserts, to protect her right to be present at the hearing. Ms Tymoshenko is undergoing treatment in Kharkiv under doctors from the Charite Clinic in Berlin.
The second prosecution first received major television coverage on the increasingly pro-government nationwide TV channels in October 2011, about two days after Ms Tymosehnko’s conviction and 7 year sentence over the 2009 gas accords and protest over politically motivated trials from the international community. In the new prosecution, Ms Tymoshenko is accused of organizing concealment of foreign currency profit of over 155 million USD; illegal compensation with public funding and tax evasion amounting to over 47 million UAH through financial machinations. All charges involve the United Energy Systems of Ukraine Corporation.
Ms Tymoshenko’s defence lawyers are presently considering whether to apply to the European Court of Human Rights without awaiting the cassation appeal hearing. The Court normally demands that all possible remedies at national level have been exhausted and they will therefore have to demonstrate to the Court in Strasbourg that they have followed all avenues enabling Ms Tymoshenko to receive a fair trial in Ukraine.
MP and Yulia Tymoshenko’s defence lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko believes that the delay is deliberate to ensure that there is no verdict before a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe towards the end of June which will be considering the situation in Ukraine. A PACE Resolution on 26 January 2012 called for charges against former government members in Ukraine, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, to be dropped. It asked the President of Ukraine to consider releasing them and to allow them to compete in the upcoming parliamentary elections. For the first time, this Resolution suggested the possible use of sanctions were the situation not to be rectified.