KIEV, September 6 (Itar-Tass) — Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko said the hearings of the "gas contracts" case against her at Kiev's Pechora district court are running too fast, and demanded a break.
"In such a mode and with the tempo you're conducting hearings from 9 o'clock in the morning till 7 or 8 o'clock in the evening, my lawyers cannot keep pace," Timoshenko told the court on Tuesday, adding that one of her lawyers, Yuri Sukhov had been unable to attend the hearing precisely for this reason.
She also stated that she was opposed to the review of her criminal case in the absence of her defence: lawyer Sukhov, husband Alexander and daughter Eugenia.
The former prime minister demanded that the court adjourn for at least two or three days, so that her defence could prepare for further hearings.
"I demand the court announce a 2- or 3-day pause, so that I could familiarize myself with the documents," Timoshenko said.
However, the court continued the review of the criminal case.
"Taking into account the fact that the court had already allotted time to the defence for reading the case materials to prepare the defendant for testimony, the court presently rules to continue the consideration of the criminal case in the absence of the participants in the trial who did not turn up for the hearing," judge Rodion Kireyev stated.
Timoshenko's lawyer Alexander Plakhotnyuk believes the guilty verdict for Timoshenko might be passed within the next few days.
"This kind of conduct by the court, namely accelerating case review and deliberately ignoring the right to defence, shows that both prosecutor and the court realize that there is no corpus delicti in actions of our client Timoshenko, of which she was accused, and all the evidence examined during the inquest shows it," the lawyer told reporters.
"Therefore such a tempo and the judge's behaviour show that the prosecutor and the court already realize that there is no corpus delicti in Timoshenko's actions; while the guilty verdict still has to be handed down," Plakhotnyuk said.