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Timoshenko case verdict to be appealed this week

October 17, 2011, 18:40 UTC+3

On October 11, the ex premier was sentenced to seven years in prison

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KIEV, October 17 (Itar-Tass) — The lawyers of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko will lodge an appeal against the "gas" case verdict later this week.

"We'll appeal against the ruling by the Pechora district court by the end of this week," lawyer Yuri Sukhov said on Monday.

On October 11, the ex premier was sentenced to seven years in prison, with a three-year ban on government jobs and a 189-million-dollar fine in favor of the Naftogaz Ukrainy company.

Judge Rodion Kireyev said there was evidence that the signing of the contacts between Russia's gas giant Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy - contrary to the agreements concluded by the previous Cabinet -- "took place solely due to Yulia Timoshenko's illegitimate and individual actions."

"Timoshenko's actions go beyond her authority, which entailed grave consequences," the judge announced.

"In January 2009, Timoshenko, at the post of prime minister of Ukraine, as an official, contrary to the requirements of Article 19 of the Ukrainian Constitution, used her office powers the government vested in her for criminal objectives and, acting deliberately, committed the actions which obviously went beyond the powers given to her, causing grave consequences," Kireyev said.

Timoshenko will remain in a remand prison until the verdict comes into effect. The verdict can be appealed at a higher court.

Lawyer Sukhov was unable to tell if Timoshenko had been questioned earlier on Monday within a new criminal case (burdening the budget with the liability of the Unified Energy Systems Ukraine (UESU) electric utility.

"I only handle the "gas" case," he said, "so I'm unaware of what is happening with the new case."

Last Thursday, an investigator began to question Timoshenko within the new criminal case, but the questioning was postponed to Monday at the lawyer's request.

The investigator accuses Timoshenko of making the UESU debt to the Russian Defense Ministry, worth 405.5 million dollars a liability of the Ukrainian budget.

The reason behind the opening of new criminal case against the former prime minister was a letter from the Russian Defense Ministry to the Ukrainian Cabinet, which raised the issue of paying the EUSU's 405.5-million-dolalr debt. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said the Timoshenko had been charged within the new case on October 12.

Meanwhile, deputy chairman of the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) Party, former First Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Turchinov stated he knew nothing about the corporative debt of the UESU to the Russian Defense Ministry, or whether government guarantees for this debt had been issued.

"If such a debt really existed, Russia would not have waited 15 years to bring forward its claims," Turchinov said.

He noted that the statute of limitations applied to the UESU debt case; also, there are court rulings passed during Leonid Kuchma's presidency.

"I believe they (the authorities) will try to make themselves safe, because an appellate court or the European court will certainly overturn this ignominious "gas" case verdict. Opening a new criminal case aims at preventing Timoshenko from getting out of prison," he said.

Timoshenko headed the UESU corporation in 1995-1997. In June 2011, the ex premier stated there were no debts to the Russian Defense Ministry.


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