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KIEV, November 29 (Itar-Tass) —— The Appeal Court will hold a preliminary hearing of the case of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko on December 1, Timoshenko’s lawyer Sergei Vlasenko told reporters on Tuesday.
He said earlier that the appeal would be heard on December 13.
Timoshenko and her defense lodged the appeal with the Pechersky Court on October 25. They challenged the sentence passed on Timoshenko on October 11.
The court sentenced Timoshenko on October 11 to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority in the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009. She was also compelled to pay 1.51 billion hryvni (almost $200 million) to Neftegaz Ukrainy.
A new case against Timoshenko was initiated on October 12. Detectives said that Timoshenko, while being the president of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine private corporation, under conspiracy with other former Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko wrote off the corporation’s debt to the Russian Defense Ministry worth $405,500,000 to the state budget of Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry sent a letter to Ukraine demanding the payment of the debt. Timoshenko chaired the corporation in 1995-1997. She said in June 2011 that there were no debts to the Russian Defense Ministry.
On November 11 the Ukrainian State Tax Service charged ex-Prime Minister, ex-CEO of the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine Corporation Timoshenko Friday of concealing $165 million revenues, embezzling public funds and dodging over 47 million hryvni (about $6 million) in taxes.
The Timoshenko case caused harsh comments from Europe.
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, speaking on behalf of the Commission, said: “The verdict comes after a trial which did not respect the international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process which I repeatedly called for in my previous statements. This unfortunately confirms that justice is being applied selectively in politically motivated prosecutions of the leaders of the opposition and members of the former government.”.
The European Parliament deplored the conviction of Timoshenko as a violation of human rights and an abuse of the judiciary designed to silence Ukraine’s leading opposition politician.