Judge is in a hurry with Tymoshenko trial
The court on Monday hearing the “gas charges” against the former Prime Minister, presidential candidate and leader of the main opposition party, Batkivshchyna - BYUT, announced an adjournment until Wednesday. The judge decided that one day was enough for the new lawyer to read through the case material. BYUT consider that such haste reflects the wish to convict the former Prime Minister as quickly as possible.
Several hundred BYUT supporters and a picket by a small number of their opponents from the “All-Military Union of Ukraine” were divided by a large number of police officers. The Head of the Kyiv MIA Public Relations Department V. Polishchuk says that around a thousand police officers have been assigned “to protect public order”. In the courtroom around a third of the space is occupied by guards.
Since according to Ms Tymoshenko, her lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko is abroad for consultation with foreign auditors on gas schemes, lawyer Mykola Tytarenko has taken on the case. He said that he had had only one day to read through the material and asked for an extra month. The judge however gave him only one day.
The Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy, BYUT Deputy Serhiy Mishchenko believes that such haste is because the court “is carrying out the command to convict Tymoshenko as quickly as possible”. As a former official of the Prosecutor General’s Office, he called the dozens of police officers in the courtroom, the corridors and on the street absolutely unnecessary. He asserts that this, as well as the row of police officers in black behind the lawyer and Tymoshenko, are “elements of psychological pressure so that the lawyer and his client feel that there is a threat that they will suddenly change the restraint measure from signed undertaking not to leave to remand in custody”.
During the court hearing, one of the prosecutors called Tymoshenko “convicted”. Mishchenko believes that is symbolic and is convinced that “the judge and the prosecutors are through all their actions demonstrating that for Tymoshenko even before the end of the trial the sentence has already been prepared.” The former Prime Minister herself turned to those present, saying that this was a difficult stage for the country when, instead of the authorities there is a regime, instead of a justice system there are servants of the regime, and instead of the Prosecutor’s office there are cronies.