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Ukraine’s former prime minister may face 11 criminal cases

October 21, 2011, 18:26 UTC+3

These criminal cases were previously closed by courts and the Supreme Court issued its award in respect of six of them

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KIEV, October 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Supporters of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko say the woman is facing 11 criminal cases.

“As of today, according to our information, the prosecutor’s office is considering eleven such case and we are very much likely to hear a report related to these cases by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka,” Sergei Sobolev, a deputy head of the Yulia Timoshenko’s Bloc (BYuT) faction in the Ukrainian parliament and head of the opposition government, told a briefing on Friday.

According to Sobolev, these criminal cases were previously closed by courts and the Supreme Court issued its award in respect of six of them.

On October 11, Kiev’s Pecherksy District Court sentenced the former prime minister to seven years in prison for acting in excess of her office duties while signing gas contracts with Russia back in 2009. Under the court ruling, Timoshenko is also to pay a penalty of 189 million U.S. dollars to Naftogaz Ukrainy. According to Timoshenko’s lawyers, they plan to challenge the sentence in a court of appeals on October 26.

On October 13, the chief of investigations department at the Ukrainian Security Service, Ivan Derevyanko, said a new criminal case had been opened against Timoshenko. This time she is charged with relegating the repayment of debts of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine corporation to the national budget, he said. She is accused of relegating 405.5 million U.S. dollars United Energy Systems of Ukraine owed to the country’s ministry of defence.

Two more criminal cases against Timoshenko, i.e. the ones linked with improper use of the so-called “Kyoto money” and ambulance cars, have been suspended till the “gas case” is over. “They might be resumed if court rules so,” said Yuri Boichenko, the spokesman for the Prosecutor General’s Office. “The criminal case is being tried, and the court should give a permit now due to the gas case, because the appeal is under consideration. Therefore, these two criminal cases will be resumed only after the court sanction.”

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office earlier accused Timoshenko of the embezzlement of some revenues, which had been received from the sale of the quotas on greenhouse gas emissions (the so called “Kyoto money”), in order to cover Ukrainian budget expenditures, primarily pension payments. The embezzled funds totalled 380 million euros. Another criminal case against the former prime minister was opened over the import under governmental collateral of allegedly special ambulance cars Opel Combo. The state authorities sustained the damages of 67 million hryvni (more than eight million U.S. dollars). The Prosecutor General’s Office merged the criminal cases against Timoshenko in one case.

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