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Archive for October 11th, 2011

President: Tymoshenko’s verdict hampers Ukraine’s European integration

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


News / 11 October 2011 | 18:39

President: Tymoshenko's verdict hampers Ukraine's European integration

President: Tymoshenko’s verdict hampers Ukraine’s European integration

Ukraine still has many issues of the harmonization of national legislation with the European standards unresolved, President Viktor Yanukovych said at a joint press conference with the President of Slovenia today, answering questions about possible negative reaction of the European community to the court decision in the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, ForUm learned from the presidential press office.

The President named the reform of criminal justice and adoption of a new Criminal Procedure Code to replace the current one from 1962 among the pressing problems.

He expressed confidence that the new draft Criminal Procedure Code will be considered and approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. “I am convinced that once we fulfill this difficult job Ukraine will get modern European standards in justice, procedures, and human freedoms,” Viktor Yanukovych stressed.

The current court decision on Yulia Tymoshenko’s case was taken with the outdated Criminal Procedure Code in force. “Given that it is still in force, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and the courts are obliged to follow it,” President Yanukovych said.

“But this is not a final decision. There is still the Court of Appeal. And, of course, how will it make a decision and under which legislation will be very important,” he said.

He reminded that the criminal case was launched at the instruction of the NSDC in February 2009. “It was investigated by law enforcement agencies and ended up in court logically,” Viktor Yanukovych said.

“I would like to say that it is a certainly regrettable incident, which now hampers Ukraine’s European integration. It arouses concerns in the European Union, and I would like to say that we understand why it is so,” Viktor Yanukovych stressed.

ForUm

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Verdict announcement events. The case is closed, or just opened?

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


Analytics / 11 October 2011 | 18:17

Verdict announcement events. The case is closed, or just opened?

Verdict announcement events. The case is closed, or just opened?

Pechersk district court has recognized former Prime minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko guilty in abusing of power while signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009 and sentenced her to seven years of imprisonment.

During the verdict announcement, supporters and opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko gathered near the court. There were also 10 buses with police officers, parked on every street around the court.

By the court decision MPs were allowed in the courtroom for verdict reading, but BYuT deputies tried to fight through the guards and to get to the courtroom, but failed.

Supporters of Yuia Tymoshenko blocked the traffic near the Pechersk court. Police forces were trying to move the protesters, but things got ugly, ForUm correspondent reported.

Some people fell down, some were arrested and put in custody, and others started to swing the police buses. Police forces used tear-gas to stop the protesters.

Later on the police forces managed to move the protesters to the sidewalk and restart the traffic.

 

In an interview with ForUm the political scientists Oleksandr Paliy said he believes that the case has not finished today with the verdict announcement.

“The country will not be able to stand international isolation. The economic crisis and need in IMF credits, as well as affairs with the West do not allow to put an end to the case,” he said. Paliy also expressed an opinion that Yulia Tymoshenko would participate in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

No one can deprive Yulia Tymoshenko of the right to appeal the verdict, Ukrainian human rights activist Eduard Bagirov told ForUm.

“Yulia Tymoshenko, as any other citizen of Ukraine, has a right for appeal, and I believe her lawyers will use this right, including an appeal to the European court on human rights. I think a period will be put to this case somewhere next year, probably March,” Bagirov said. 

Ukrainian authorities will have to answer some questions regarding Yulia Tymoshenko’s case, director of the Ukrainian politics Institute Kost Bondarenko told ForUm.

According to him, Tymoshenko will keep influencing Ukrainian domestic and foreign policy for some time. “The authorities will have to answer to Russia and Europe; opposition will try to decriminalize the article, according to which Tymoshenko was sentenced; her lawyers will appeal to international courts. And even if the verdict comes into force, journalists will go to the prison and shoot reports about Tymoshenko. Hence, for some time she still will have influence on information space,” Bondarenko summed up. 

Speaker of the Ukraine’s parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn says the conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko is “unexpectedly expected result”. “I was informed that the judge convicted Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in prison and bound her to compensation of 1.5 milliard hryvnias. It is an unexpectedly expected result. Everybody was talking about it, and today it has happened,” Lyvyn said.

The speaker reminded that the draft bill on decriminalization of economic crimes had been registered in the parliament, and further events depend on what understanding the parliamentary factions will come to.

Lytvyn refused to comment on the verdict, but noted that “the next parliamentary week will be hot.”

ForUm

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Foreign Ministry of Ukraine calls on EU parliament not to give in to emotions

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


News / 11 October 2011 | 18:00

Foreign Ministry of Ukraine calls on EU parliament not to give in to emotions

Foreign Ministry of Ukraine calls on EU parliament not to give in to emotions

Speaking during the discussions in the EP committee, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kostiantyn Hryshchenko called upon the deputies of the European parliament to have “balanced and cold-blooded” approach regarding recommendations on Association agreement between Ukraine and EU.

“We understand what kind of role emotions can play in politics. Emotions prevailed in Ukraine for years, but it turned out, they never reflected the modern reality,” the FM said in response to emotional and mainly criticizing comments over Tymoshenko’s verdict.

Hryshchenko noted that the court made a decision, and no one has a right to influence it now. He also pointed out that Yulia Tymoshenko has a right to appeal the decision in higher authorities, including the European court on human rights.

The FM also drew attention of EU MPs to the fact that Ukraine is undergoing mass reforms in all spheres, including criminal and criminal-procedure legislation. He noted that Tymoshenko, being in power, did not do anything to improve the legislation, according to which she has been processed.

ForUm

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Foreign ministries of EU countries do not approve Tymoshenko’s conviction

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


News / 11 October 2011 | 17:42

Foreign ministries of EU countries do not approve Tymoshenko's conviction

Foreign ministries of EU countries do not approve Tymoshenko’s conviction

The verdict against Ukraine’s ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko proved that the case was politically motivated, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

“The verdict in the Tymoshenko case was pronounced within the framework of a procedure that clearly ignored the defendant’s rights. This confirms that the prosecution of Tymoshenko and her government members is politically motivated,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

He reiterated his country’s concern about “the degradation of the rule of law in Ukraine.”
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt believes that the guilty verdict in the Yulia Tymoshenko case will endanger tolerant relations between Ukraine and the EU.

“We have reacted strongly against the sentence against Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine. This will endanger the entire relationship,” Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter.

Ukraine is putting its pro-European image at risk by giving its former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, a prison sentence for abuse of power, said the foreign ministry of Poland, the country that is holding the European Union’s rotating presidency in this half of the year.

“Poland has consistently supported, and still supports, the Ukrainian nation in its European choice. Ukraine’s European aspirations stand for the necessity to strengthen and apply the norms and standards typical of the political and social order of the European Union,” it said.

“Poland along with the European Union and its member states observe with concern the trial of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The manner in which the trial is conducted and today’s conviction are the example of politicization of the Ukrainian judiciary. Ukraine’s image as a country that is undertaking a fundamental pro-European transformation has been tarnished.

It added the trial should be “fair, transparent and conducted in compliance with all the rights that the accused should enjoy.”

“Further proceedings will demonstrate whether or not Ukraine is moving towards or drifting away from the European integration – the goal its leaders declared to pursue and Ukrainian society keenly supports,” it said.

A Ukrainian court’s guilty verdict against former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko for abuse of power will cast a ‘negative spotlight’ on the country and have consequences on its European relations, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Tuesday.

‘This unfortunately throws a very negative spotlight on the Ukraine’s justice system,’ read a statement released shortly after the verdict was handed down.

‘This verdict cannot help but have consequences for our, and the European Union’s, relations with Ukraine.’

He said Germany would keep a close eye on further actions against Tymoshenko and other members of her regime, which lost power after elections in 2010. Since then, several members of the former government have faced legal action.

ForUm

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Putin ‘puzzled’ by Tymoshenko verdict

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


News / 11 October 2011 | 17:19

Putin 'puzzled' by Tymoshenko verdict

Putin ‘puzzled’ by Tymoshenko verdict

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he does not understand why former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was found guilty and handed a seven-year prison sentence.

He said Tymoshenko had not signed anything herself and that the agreements were concluded by national companies in full compliance with Russian and Ukrainian laws, RIA Novosti reported.

Putin also warned that it was “dangerous” and “counterproductive” to question existing gas agreements between Russia and Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier in the day “Yulia Tymoshenko was prosecuted for the current, still valid, legally binding agreements between Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukraine,” warning that the verdict must not affect the implementation of bilateral gas agreements.

ForUm

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Lytyn wants to unite with Party of Regions in order not to get lost

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


News / 11 October 2011 | 16:58

Lytyn wants to unite with Party of Regions in order not to get lost

Lytyn wants to unite with Party of Regions in order not to get lost

People’s party, headed by Ukrainina speaker Volodymyr, has initiated talks on merging with the Party of Regions, Lytyn told a press conference in Lviv.

“The Party of Regions has the biggest potential for today, and we have a choice either to step aside and criticize or to join and assist in realization of this potential,” Lytvyn said. According to him, the Party of Regions is the reality, which must be accepted and assisted in creation of the state.

“The People’s party has many qualified specialists and I don’t want them to get lost. I am a person, who does not stand extremity, and I don’t want my position to be lost either,” the speaker said.

“I don’t know what the opposition is, but I know what is to work and defend your point of view. It is a difficult task, and it is easier to declare war and criticize, but I believe that wars are harmful for Ukraine,” Lytyn summed up.

ForUm

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EU ‘deeply disappointed’ with tymoshenko’s verdict and urges for fair appeal

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


News / 11 October 2011 | 16:40

EU 'deeply disappointed' with tymoshenko's verdict and urges for fair appeal

EU ‘deeply disappointed’ with tymoshenko’s verdict and urges for fair appeal

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday said the 27-member union was “deeply disappointed” with the verdict of Yulia Tymoshenko.

Catherine Ashton, high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy, made the statement after Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced for seven years of imprisonment by the Pechersk District Court for exceeding power in a 2009 gas deal with Russia and squandering public funds.

“The verdict comes after a trial which did not respect the international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process,” Ashton said in a statement.

Ashton blamed the trail of Tymoshenko “confirms that justice is being applied selectively in politically motivated prosecutions of the leaders of the opposition and members of the former government.”
“It is especially disappointing for a country that currently holds the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe,” she added.

The EU also urged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure “a fair, transparent and impartial process” in any appeal in the case of Tymoshenko and in the other trials related to members of the former Government.

“Risks having profound implications for the EU-Ukraine bilateral relationship, including for the conclusion of the Association Agreement, our political dialogue and our co-operation more broadly,” Ashton said.

“The EU will reflect on its policies towards Ukraine,” she added.

ForUm

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OSCE expresses concern at Tymoshenko verdict

Posted by the Editor on October 11, 2011


News / 11 October 2011 | 16:20

OSCE expresses concern at Tymoshenko verdict

OSCE expresses concern at Tymoshenko verdict

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, expressed concern at the conviction today of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and urged full transparency during the appeals process, ForUm learned from the OSCE press office.

“I have followed this case closely and previously urged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that the defendant’s rights to a fair trial were fully respected. It is now vital that the appeals process be conducted openly and fairly and in line with the highest standards to restore the trust of the Ukrainian people and the international community,” said Ažubalis.

“Ukraine needs to show the utmost transparency in the conduct of its judicial processes. While countries have a duty to uphold the rule of law, they must do so in a way that avoids the selective application of justice.”

Ukraine is preparing to take over the OSCE Chairmanship in 2013.

ForUm

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