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Sentence to former premier to be read out in Kiev court

October 11, 2011, 1:56 UTC+3

Timoshenko’s lawyers believe the reading will take three to four hours

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KIEV, October 11 (Itar-Tass) – Judges at the Pechersky district court in Kiev are expected to start reading out a sentence to the former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Timoshenko, who is accused of abusing her occupational powers in the process of signing the January 2009 agreements with Russia on the supplies and transits of natural gas.

The climax of the court drama that started off June 24 is mostly like to be really tense, as the oppositionist Batkivshchina /Fatherland/ party, of which the defendant is the leader, has called on “all the concerned citizens” to get together in front of the Pechersky court’s building.

“Like never before, Ukraine is now facing a tough choice between people’s rule and a criminal regime,” the party statement alleges. “The authorities plan reading out the sentence October 11 but they fear the people to the extent that they may change the date somehow.”

Members of parliament representing Timoshenko’s party have promised to gather in the courtroom and outside the court building.

In the meantime, Judge Rodion Kireyev, who presides over the trial, warned in advance the rather small courtroom does not have enough space for all the opposition MPs, whose number exceeds a hundred persons.

Kireyev said that only the people involved in the court procedures and reporters will be admitted, but the reading-out will be broadcast over the national radio and TV.

Timoshenko’s lawyers believe the reading will take three to four hours.

“Materials of the case don’t contain a single proof of her guilt and the charges against her are absolutely absurd,” said MP Sergei Vlasenko, who is acting as a defender in the Timoshenko case.

“The court ruling will dependent a hundred percent on the position of /President/ Viktor Yanukovich and if he acts in line with the pledges he made to European politicians, then we may possibly expect some encouraging shifts in Timoshenko’s case,” he said.

The accusations issued to Timoshenko by the Office of the Prosecutor General suggest the natural gas agreements she signed with the Russian government in 2009 inflicted a damage of about $ 188 million on the Ukrainian economy.

Yulia Timoshenko denies all the charges, claiming it was she who led Ukraine quite efficiently out of the gas crisis in 2009, and the indictment against her “doesn’t contain any evidence that would proof any infringements on the law on my part.”

Along with this, she said she has not hopes for a fair sentence.

“It’s been written down already and it’ll be a guilty sentence,” Timoshenko said.

The Public Prosecutor demands seven years in jail for Timoshenko and the entertaining of a civilian lawsuit against her filed by the company Naftogaz Ukrainy, which seeks to levy compensation of about $ 188 million from her.


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