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Kiev Appeals Court refuses to reinvestigate Timoshenko case

December 14, 2011, 22:08 UTC+3

Timoshenko’s lawyer spent two hours earlier in the day declaring their arguments to the judges

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KIEV, December 14 (Itar-Tass) – A court of appeals in Kiev has once again turned down all the petitions filed by the lawyers representing former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko.

“The college of judges doesn’t see any grounds for entertaining the appeals,” Chief Justice Yelena Sitailo said.

Timoshenko’s lawyer spent two hours earlier in the day declaring their arguments to the judges. If taken on balance, their argumentation boiled down to the importance of reinvestigating the former Prime Minister’s case in court.

For instance, lawyer Alexander Plakhotnyuk pointed out a range of procedural violations made by Justice Rodion Kireyev during the initial consideration of the case in Kiev’s Pechersky district court.

These violations made the whole trial biased and illegal in the final run, Plakhotnyuk said.

He also indicated that the court of the first instance turned down the lawyers’ request to summon the key eyewitnesses for questioning and the fact testifies to the “one-sided and incomplete character” of the trial.

In part, the lawyers asked for summoning a number of former members of the cabinet.

In the light of it, Timoshenko’s defense made a request to question these eyewitnesses and to hold confrontations, for instance, between their client and the incumbent Prime Minister, Nikolai Azarov, former President Viktor Yushchenko, and former CEO of the national oil and gas monopoly Naftogaz Ukrainy, Oleg Dubina.

“The court ignored the requests earlier, and if someone makes claims to justice and equality, then please entertain the petitions, hold expert studies, summon and question eyewitnesses,” Plakhotnyuk asked the judges.

The scope arguments provided the defense include a statement by Igor Kost, the former chief of Naftogaz’s department for complaints, which the lawyers believe will make it possible to reinvestigate the newly unearthed circumstances.

Sergei Vlassenko, another lawyer defending Timoshenko said that in the period where Kost occupied the position at Naftogaz, the corporation received instructions from the Prosecutor General’s Office to initiate lawsuits against Timoshenko over the losses Naftogaz had allegedly sustained due to the Prime Minister’s directives for signing the gas agreements.

Wednesday, Kost confirmed in a conversation with reporters Naftogaz did not have losses arising from whatever actions effectuated by Timoshenko.

“The losses that were imputed by the Prosecutor General’s Office and that the court agreed with have been concocted, in fact,” Kost said. “They were computed with the aid of God only knows what methods.”

Timoshenko’s lawyers filed petitions Wednesday to request the necessary financial documents and the materials highlighting their economic activity in the appropriate period of time.

In addition, they asked for an expert study of natural gas contracts and other materials appended with the case.

The court turned down all the requests, however.

Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is currently kept in a detention center in Kiev, has once again rejected a proposal for a medical checkup by physicians working for the Healthcare Ministry, the ministerial press service said.

“December 14, a medical commission visited the detention center for purpose of examining Timoshenko’s health and getting familiarized with the medical and sanitary conditions in that penitentiary institution in line with a letter from the State Penitentiary Service,” the press release said.

The commission included experts from the Healthcare Ministry and the State Service for Sanitations and Epidemics Monitoring.

“Timoshenko rejected the offer to get a checkup,” the press service said.

Along with this, a member of the commission who represented the State Service for Sanitation and Epidemics Monitoring stated that the ward where Timoshenko is kept has normal sanitary conditions.

Over the time that Timoshenko is kept at the detention center, teams of specialists reporting to the Healthcare Ministry have visited the institution on 29 occasions in connection with her complaints over health problems. She turned down the proposals to be examined by the physicians on eighteen occasions.

“According to the preliminary conclusions made by commission members during the checkups, there are no causes for giving /Timoshenko/ a surgical treatment outside the detention center,” the press release said.

“No contraindications for investigative actions or participation in court sessions have been identified either,” the ministry said.


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