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KIEV, November 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The criminal case against Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko with regard to her activities in the United Energy Systems of Ukraine contains enough proofs for new charges, the head of the tax police main investigation department, Anatoly Yakovinets, said.
“Having received the case files we saw that they contain enough proofs for charging Yulia Timoshenko. We have conducted very many expert reviews that confirm the unlawfulness of [her] actions,” he said at a press conference on Monday, November 14.
They confirmed in particular Timoshenko’s signature in several documents and auditors’ findings on losses.
Yakovinets said Timoshenko had used an illegal tax evasion scheme. “The United Energy System of Ukraine transferred commodities and materials to offshore companies controlled by Timoshenko. One of the reasons for evading taxes was the receipt of foreign exchange earnings that were supposed to be transferred to the company’s accounts from abroad. But employees of Pivdencombank, where Timoshenko was president, put knowingly false data in the documents. As a result, the foreign exchange earnings of 165 million U.S. dollars were reported to have been transferred to Ukraine, while in reality they ended up in the accounts of offshore companies controlled by our defendant [Timoshenko],” he said.
On November 10, the Main Investigation Department of the State Tax Service charged Timoshenko with organising the concealment of foreign exchange earnings in the amount of more than 165 million U.S. dollars, embezzlement of budget funds and tax evasion in the amount of more than 47 million hryvnia (about 6 million U.S. dollars).
Yakovinets said the investigators would hope to finish the investigation of the Timoshenko case by the end of this year.
“I think that we will finish the pretrial investigation and send the case to court before the end of this month or before the end of next month, as the defence and the prosecutor’s office allow,” he said.
He stressed that there are no political implications in the case. “In this case, as in all others, we act strictly within the powers given to us by law, without any political motives. Tax police do not deal with political persecutions,” Yakovinets said.
He said tax police have combined four criminal cases against Timoshenko into one.
Timoshenko’s lawyer Sergei Vlasenko confirmed earlier that the “tax service has resumed the investigation of four criminal cases concerning the operation of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine, which involve the former prime minister”.
Resolutions on the resumption of the investigation were delivered to Timoshenko on November 4.
Vlasenko believes that Timoshenko’s release depends on President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision.
“The ex-premier will celebrate New Year’s Day in at home only if the incumbent president wills so,” Vlasenko said.
“The ex-premier’s case is politically motivated. This is why the resolution of her question depends completely on one person -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich,” he said.
Vlasenko noted that there are “scores” of possibilities and mechanisms for releasing Timoshenko. One would be a verdict of the Court of Appeals “that will be one hundred percent coordinated with the president”.
Kiev’s Court of Appeals will convene on December 13 for a preliminary hearing on Timoshenko’s complaint challenging her verdict handed down by Kiev’s Pechersky Court that sentenced her to seven years in prison.
“According to the information received by the defence today at the Pechersky Court, the appeal will be considered at 13:00 on December 13,” the lawyer said.
On October 25, Timoshenko and her lawyers transferred to the Pechersky Court a complaint against its verdict.
On October 11, Timoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for having acted in excess of her powers which had resulted in damage to the national interests of the country.
Timoshenko has also been barred from holding public positions for three years and has to pay a penalty of 189 million U.S. dollars in damages to Naftogaz Ukrainy.