New refusal to releaseTymoshenko despite statements from Poland, Havel and others
Judge Rodion Kireyev presiding over the trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Wednesday again turned down an application to release her from custody. She has been held in detention since 5 August, effectively for openly demonstrating her lack of respect for the court which she claims is totally subservient to the President.
The latest refusal came the morning after President Komorowski of Poland stated quite unambiguously that “the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko is an obstacle [which] spoils the image of Ukraine abroad and may constitute a major problem to the advancement of Ukraine to the Western world, "
Vaclav Havel, the much respected formal dissident, playwright and first President of the Czech Republic in an article entitle “Ukraine is losing its way” published in the Moscow Times made the same point. Havel stated that Yanukovich’s Administration has not carried out the reforms needed for applying to join the EU. There has also been a significant deterioration in Ukraines democratic standards since Yanukovychs was elected President. .
"Since President Viktor Yanukovychs election in 2010, Ukraine has experienced a significant and alarming deterioration in its democratic framework. Fundamental tenets of a democratic society -freedom of expression, assembly and the press - are increasingly coming under pressure. Moreover, the prosecution of opposition members, culminating in the arrest and detention of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko during a trial that most of the West has deemed politically motivated, seems to confirm that the rule of law is being brushed aside, "
In addition, US Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain and the leader of the European People’s Party issued a joint statement reiterating calls both have made separately before for Yulia Tymoshenko to be released on bail.
“today we are witnessing certain practices from the Ukrainian authorities that are reminiscent of pre-independence rule. The current trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the judicial practices surrounding this trail, is increasingly seen as selective prosecution of members of the opposition in Ukraine.”
Photo from tRadio Svoboda