war crimes in Ukraine

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Jagland: Strasbourg judgements on Tymoshenko and Lutsenko must be enforced

23.10.2012    source:

  The following is from an interview on a number of issues which Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland gave to the German newspaper Tagesspiegel.

You were recently in Ukraine where parliamentary elections are due next Sunday. Opposition leader Tymoshenko is in prison. What does that mean for the country and its path to reform?

I’ve told Ukraine’s leaders that the fact that the elections are taking place without Tymoshenko will probably lead to further protest and that there is the danger that because of this the elections will not be viewed as fair and free. There is a need for reform. Although we can’t expect that in five years everything will be good, we do expect that Ukraine makes efforts regarding reform and that it takes our expertise into account. We have drawn up a reform programme especially for the justice system.

The European Court of Human Rights has found the imprisonment of Tymoshenko’s former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko to be unlawful, yet he remains in prison. Should the country expect consequences?

Every member country must implement the judgements from the European Court of Human Rights. I expect Ukraine to do this in the case of Lutsenko.

And what happens if it doesn’t?

When I met President Yanukovych he said openly that he would follow the judgements in the Lutsenko case and later also in the Tymoshenko case. I would not like to speak in this case about sanctions, it would be counterproductive. 

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