Ivashchenko granted political asylum in Denmark
The Danish Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Denmark has granted the former Acting Minister of Defence in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, Valery Ivashchenko political asylum.
Ivashchenko’s case was among those which most prompted accusations of selective prosecution of members of Yulia Tymoshenko’s government. He was convicted on 12 April 2012 in the Pechersky District Court of “abuse of position” in November 2009 while Acting Minister of Defence by signing a plan to sell the Feodosia Marine Engineering Works
He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, with this including the 2 years that he had spent in custody. In August last year the Appeal Court overturned the sentence although not the conviction. He was freed from serving the sentence with a probation period of one year.
In an interview to the Ukrainian weekly Ukrainsky Tyzhden, Ivashchenko said he thought it likely that statements from western governments and the EU, as well as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s had played a major role in the decision by the Danish authorities to grant him asylum. The PACE Resolution called his trial unfair and the article in the Criminal Code under which he and other former government officials have been prosecuted, unacceptable.
Mr Ivashchenko says that he asked for political asylum because there was renewed persecution and attempts to imprison him. The cassation appeal in his case is due in March. “Now I can speak freely and as such I can better serve my country. I would like to return to my country, but at the moment I can’t. “.