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Ukrainian Pres says Timoshenko’s pardoning may be considered

February 25, 2012, 6:36 UTC+3

He recalled that the “natural gas case” has already passed the initial stage and the court of appeals

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KIEV, February 25 (Itar-Tass) — To consider the issue of pardoning of the former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, it is necessary that the courts of all the instances round up the examination of her case, President Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine said in a televised interview Friday night.

He recalled that the “natural gas case” has already passed the initial stage and the court of appeals, and now the complaints over judiciary decisions have been submitted to the court of review.

Yanukovich also recalled that the country now has a new draft Code of Practice, under the provisions of which one more instance of the court may emerge soon for hearing the complaints.

“If we endorse the new Code of Practice, an opportunity for this will appear, indeed, and I personally speak in favor of settling the problem in line with the new Code of Practice,” he said, adding that this is impossible while the current Code is still in effect.

“When all the court procedures are over, we’ll be able to consider the issue of pardoning,” Yanukovich said. “If we do get a new procedure, it’ll begin with a convict filing a plea with the President, who has a special commission for reviewing such requests. Then the issue will be taken directly to my office.”

At present, Timoshenko is serving a jail term at the Kachanovsky corrective prison in the northeast city of Kharkov. She has been charged with an abuse of occupational powers when signing agreements with Russia on the imports of gas from the natural gas giant Gazprom in 2009.

October 11, 2011, a district court in Kiev sentenced Timoshenko to seven years in prison.

Besides, Ukraine’s Security Service accuses the former Prime Minister of tax evasion in the amount of about $ 600,000, embezzlement and attempted embezzlement of budgetary monies though an illegal reimbursement of the VAT in the amount of $ 3 million, occupational forgery and personal income tax evasion of $ 85,000.

“The monies were embezzled at the United Energy Systems of Ukraine corporation /of which Timoshenko was a de facto owner in the mid-1990’s – Itar-Tass/ with the aid of a scheme that made it possible to conceal the hard currency revenues in offshore companies,” the Security

Service said in a press release.

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