Memorial: On the Sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko
Two days ago the sentence passed down on former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenkor by the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv on 11 October appeared on the Internet. Without having the opportunity to give a thorough legal assessment of the verdict, we feel it necessary, nonetheless, to state the following.
Criminal prosecution of State political figures no longer in office, for one or other decision in the area of governance, taken by them during their term in office, requires particular caution from the court when determining intention, elements of a crime, losses and so forth, as well as in determining the level of punishment. Particular attention must also be paid to observing the right to a fair trial.
The information available to the public about the nature of the charges laid against Ms Tymoshenko, the cruelty and lack of grounds for the restraint measure and sentence passed, the numerous infringements of the standards for just court proceedings during the trial lead us to conclude that the prosecution is politically motivated and to call it a political reprisal. The sentence published does not even contain a full outline of the crime which Ms Tymoshenko is charged with.
Memorial protests against the use of court mechanisms for political purposes and calls for the sentence to be revoked and Yulia Tymoshenko released.
Board of the International Memorial Society
17 October 2011