Trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko appears likely early in 2011
Ukrainian Business Observer
After an 11 hour session of interrogation by the office of the Prosecutor General on Thursday, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been officially served with documentation charging her with two cases of abuse of office. Tymoshenko will have time to examine case materials but it is unclear how soon court proceeding could commence.
KYIV, Dec. 31, 2010 (UBO) â€“ After a number of visits to the office of the Prosecutor General (PGO) for questioning, the PGO has made two charges of abuse of office against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Under Ukrainian law, Tymoshenko and her lawyers will have some time to examine the case materials before trial starts.
The charges reportedly include misuse of state funds received from sales of carbon emission quotas under the Kyoto Protocol to pay pensions, and the purchase of 1,000 Opel Combo minivans by the country's Health Ministry at prices that were higher than normal.
Tymoshenko supporters accuse the Yanukovych government of pursuing "pro-Russian" policies, betraying Ukraine's interests and engaging in a campaign against Tymoshenko and other members of her former government with the aim of wiping out opposition.
The United States weighs in with what appears to be tacit support for Tymoshenko
On Dec. 30, the United States Embassy in Kyiv placed a statement on its website, which obviously reflects the official position of the United States on recent events in Ukraine, as follows:
â€œAlthough as a rule the U.S. Government does not comment on the specifics of individual cases, we have raised with the Ukrainian government our concern that while corruption should be pursued, prosecution should not be selective or politically motivated.
â€œIn that context, we also raised our concern that when, with few exceptions, the only senior officials being targeted are connected with the previous government, it gives the appearance of selective prosecution of political opponents.â€
What other representations the United States may have made directly to Ukrainian officials is unclear at this time.
Earlier in December, the European Unionâ€™s ambassador in Ukraine and other European country ambassadors requested a meeting with Tymoshenko at which there were discussions of the situation regarding potential charges against the former prime minister and other court officials. Whether or not the EU or individual countries made representations to Ukraine after this meeting is unknown.
Tymoshenko:Â â€œâ€¦no doubt that Viktor Yanukovych is personally managing this case.â€
On Friday, Tymoshenko accused prosecutors of falsifying the criminal case against her.
"Today they began to acquaint me with the criminal case concerning the payment of pensions. Today they gave me the schedule for studying the material â€“ how quickly I must do this," Yulia Tymoshenko said at the end of todayâ€™s interrogation at the Prosecutor Generalâ€™s Office, as reported on her website.
She said the pre-trial investigation was flawed. "The necessary expert reviews were not done, the necessary steps were not taken, they ignored all opportunities to question witnesses - they didnâ€™t do what they should under the law to establish the truth in this case," she said.
"The case is being rigged, and at the next stage they want to falsify the verdict. There is no doubt that Viktor Yanukovych is personally managing this case," Tymoshenko said.
Republished here with the full & complete permission of the UBO: http://ukrainebusiness.com.ua/news/1944.html