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Ukraine: Timoshenko not to expect acquittal

September 07, 2011, 12:18 UTC+3

Actually, the trial of the “gas case” entered the final stage

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KIEV, September 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Hearings on the “gas case” of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko continued in the Pechersky District Court of Kiev on Wednesday. Justice Rodion Kireyev, who is in charge of the examination of the case, opened the court session.

Kireyev is expected to consider at the court session the appeals of the parties concerning the stage of the examination of materials of the criminal case.

Actually, the trial of the “gas case” entered the final stage. Timoshenko began to give evidence at court on Wednesday, which is one of the last stages of the trial before the passing of judgement.

Experts have stated already, however, that Timoshenko should not expect acquittal. “All that I see and hear, together with materials from the Internet, makes me believe that there will be no verdict of not guilty,” Svyatoslav Piskun, Member of Parliament, former prosecutor-general of Ukraine, told journalists. He said he had not noticed mistakes in the pre-trial investigation and during the court hearings, which could influence the examination of the case.

Sergey Vlasenko, Member of Parliament from the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc, who is the counsel for the defence at the trial, does not believe in the acquittal either. Responding to the question on whether or not he believed the court could pass the verdict of not guilty on the Timoshenko case, he answered in the negative.

“You asked me about a possibility of the verdict of not guilty. I do not believe in it. I do not understand why a person should be kept in prison illegally for 30 days, if they intend to bring in a verdict of not guilty,” Vlasenko said.

“Proceeding from the way the trial is going on, I am sure a judgement will be passed, and very soon. It will be direct punishment under Article 365, Part 3, which provides for a prison term from three to ten years. I think the situation will develop in this way,” he added.

The Pechersky District Court of Kiev began on June 24 the examination of the criminal case of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who had been accused of abuse of office during the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009. According to the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the signing of the contracts by Timoshenko brought about losses to the country to the sum exceeding 1.5 billion hrivnas (some 200 million dollars). Timoshenko was arrested on August 5 on the ruling of the Pechersky District Court.


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