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Judge accused of restricting Tymoshenko’s defence case

05.09.2011    source:
The lawyers defending the former Prime Minister accuse Judge Rodion Kireyev of restricting the defence’s right to examine the evidence and to properly question witnesses, and also allege bias in choosing which experts to call

The lawyers defending former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition Batkivshchyna Party, Yulia Tymoshenko accuse Judge Rodion Kireyev of restricting the defence’s right to study the evidence in the case against her. They assert also that he is obstructing them from questioning experts and witnesses, rejecting all questions which the prosecution objects to. The prosecutors on the other hand claim that the investigation of the evidence is in accordance with legislation and it is too early to draw any conclusions about this trial.

The court is continuing its examination of the evidence. Judge Kireyev read out the results of a court assessment which state that Naftohaz Ukraine suffered losses through the actions of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.  However this document was read out as quietly and unclearly as all the previous ones. According to one of Tymoshenko’s lawyers, Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk, further questioning of one of the experts also took place in a mode of total mutual understanding between the representatives of the prosecution and the presiding judge.

“Several dozen questions from the defence on the application of the prosecutor’s side were disallowed. All questions to the expert related to the assessment, and in fact the particular assessment on the basis of which the charges were laid and on the basis of which, the  prosecutor’s side considers, it was established that losses were incurred through the signing of the January contracts in 2009”.

According to another defence lawyer, Mykola Siry, Judge Kireyev questioned an expert who was not sufficiently qualified to determine that losses had been caused Naftohaz, and to assess all the documents needed for such a study.

“Instead of summoning all the experts who carried out assessments, they are summoning only specific experts. What is more they are calling an expert who did not study the key question relating to the essence of the charge, but studied one which does not”.

Representative of the state prosecution Lilia Frolova asserted that any written material and verbal testimony would be useful at this trial to establish the truth.

“We are studying the evidence. We will assess it after the court examination is concluded. Therefore I consider that it would be incorrect and out of order to stay that there were no losses until it all ends. Since a lot of submissions have not yet been resolved the question of whether to call new witnesses may arise”,  

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