Saturday

23rd Sep 2017

EU 'regrets' Ukraine court decision on Tymoshenko

  • Ukraine's Supreme Court rejected the appeal by former prime minister Tymoshenko on abuse of power charges (Photo: byut.com.ua)

Ukraine’s high court decision to toss out an appeal by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko may place an additional strain on EU relations with the country, EU foreign affairs spokesperson Michael Mann told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (29 August).

“We want to work well with the Ukraine, have good relations with the Ukraine and these judicial problems are not helping that,” said Mann.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The court had earlier in the day rejected Tymoshenko’s appeal against her conviction of abuse of power over gas contracts with Russia for which she is currently serving a 7-year prison sentence. Her sentence, issued on 11 October 2011, also bans her from serving public office for three years.

Her defence lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, told reporters following the court’s decision that “the findings have no relation to justice”, reported Reuters. Vlasenko claims the court’s ruling is politically motivated and driven by Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich’s desire to prevent her from running for office.

Judge Oleksandr Elfimov, one of three judges who presided the case, said Tymoshenko’s appeal was without basis and that her prison sentence was proportionate “to the gravity of the crime.”

Mann said the EU regrets the high court’s decision and is “deeply disappointed with the consequences of the current situation” which prevents leaders of the opposition from standing in the parliamentary elections.

He noted the trials have failed to respect international standards and have not demonstrated “fair, transparent and independent legal processes”.

The 51-year old former prime minister is also the leader of the main opposition party, the United Opposition Batkivshchyna. Ukraine’s Central Election Commission barred her earlier this month from registering in the upcoming elections in October.

The election commission claimed she could not run for office while in prison.

Another Tymoshenko ally, Yuri Lutsenko, currently serving a term in prison on charges of embezzlement, was also not allowed to run for the same reason.

Tymokshenko’s lawyers are appealing her case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) claiming her detention is politically motivated and that there has been no judicial review of the lawfulness of her detention.

She launched a 20-day hunger strike in April to protest the detention and the alleged abuse by prison guards.

The Strasbourg-based court held a public hearing on her case on Tuesday but will not deliver a decision for the next few weeks or months, their spokesperson told this website. Her lawyers had told the court that her pre-trial detention was unlawful.

Tymokshenko’s detention is a possible stumbling block on on-going free trade negotiations between Ukraine and the European Commission.

The European Commission in April warned Ukrainian authorities to respect the rule of law and democratic values.

“We expect Ukraine to address the issues of politically motivated trials, independence of judiciary and selective use of law,” said EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule in May.

Media crackdown ahead of EU-Ukraine summit

Alleged sabotage of a news agency, the axing of a top TV show - days ahead of an EU-Ukraine summit, diplomats fear a new media crackdown in Kiev.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  2. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  3. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  4. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  5. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead
  6. EU to step up sanctions on North Korea
  7. Tusk calls 'euro summit' in December
  8. Report: May to seek two-year EU transition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel