war crimes in Ukraine

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Appeal against Valery Ivashchenko conviction begins


The preliminary hearing has taken place in the appeal lodged by former Acting Minister of Defence in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, Valery Ivashchenko. Julge Olha Urdyha at the Kyiv Court of Appeal began by rejecting the defence’s application to have witnesses who did not appear at the actual trial brought to the court. The defence still hopes that the court will take its comments into account on 14 August when it considers the appeal on its merits.

The judge first considered Mr Ivashchenko’s appeal against the decision of Judge Serhiy Vovk of the Pechersky District Court from 25 June restricting Mr Ivashchenko in the time set aside for him to read the file material. He told the court that up till 20 June he had only familiaraized himself with the protocols of the court hearings. He mentioned that many of these did not coincide with the audio files. The judge also rejected this appeal.

Unlike the court examination of the appeals lodged by Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko, the court hearing took place in peaceful fashion, and the Grifon court guards did not restrict journalists in access to the court.

Former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśmiewski is to be present at the next hearing as one of the members of the European Parliament carrying out monitoring of the prosecutions of members of Yulia Tymoshenko’s government.

The prosecution is insisting on the same sentence as on 12 April and takes the opposition position with respect to all applications.

Ivashchenko’s case is among those arousing most accusations of selective prosecution of members of Yulia Tymoshenko’s government.  He was convicted on 12 April in the Pechersky District Court of “abusing his position”  in November 2009 while Acting Minister of Defence by signing a plan to sell the Feodosia Marine Engineering Works

He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, with this including the 2 years that he has ow spent in custody.  The court also stripped him of his public official rank and prohibited him from holding certain posts for 3 years.

More details can be found in the Second Preliminary Report by the Danish Helsinki Committee on Human Rights, where Valery Ivashchenko’s case is one of those examined

Information about the preliminary hearing at Komersant-Ukraine, as is the photo by Vladislav Sodel


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