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04.05.2013

West renews calls for Tymoshenko’s release

   

There have been calls from top-ranking EU representatives, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE], the US and others in the light of the European Court of Human Rights judgment on Yulia Tymoshenko’s arrest and pre-trial detention. 

A joint statement on 3 April by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle said that the European Court of Human Rights judgment “confirms the concerns consistently expressed by the EU regarding the arbitrary legal proceedings in the case of Yulia Tymoshenko”. 

They therefore “call on the Ukrainian authorities to reconsider thoroughly the situation of Ms Tymoshenko, the leader of one of the strongest opposition parties in the country, who remains detained after a trial that did not respect fair, transparent and independent legal proceedings. We stress the importance of a clearly expressed commitment by the Ukrainian authorities to early implementation of all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.”

”Ukraine also needs to take urgent steps to remedy the systemic procedural shortcomings identified in this ruling, as part of a comprehensive reform of the judiciary, to prevent recurrence of arbitrary decisions and allay concerns over the selective use of justice. This is essential in order to fully implement the conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council and the joint statement of the EU-Ukraine Summit of 25 February 2013.”

The co-rapporteurs for Ukraine of the PACE Monitoring Committee  Mailis Reps and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundinm as well as Pieter Omtzigt, Rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on “Keeping political and criminal responsibility separate” stated:

"The ruling of the ECtHR that Ms Timoshenko’s arrest and pre-trial detention were arbitrary and illegal and that she was not provided with a proper opportunity to have the lawfulness of her detention reviewed, confirms the grave deficiencies in Ukraine’s justice system that were highlighted in Assembly Resolution 1862(2012). We therefore call upon the Ukrainian authorities to take immediate steps to address the deficiencies noted in the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on the detention of former Prime Minister Timoshenko, "

In addition, given the clear ECtHR ruling that she was illegally detained for other reasons than bringing her before a competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence, the rapporteurs urged the Ukrainian authorities to use all legal means to release Ms Timoshenko from prison without further delay, following the positive example set by the release of the former Minister of the Interior Yuriy Lutsenko. "We specifically expect the Ukrainian authorities not to wait with this until the Court in Strasbourg rules on her appeal against her conviction by the Ukrainian court. That would not be justifiable in the light of the court judgment, " the rapporteurs stressed.

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