MOSCOW, July 12 (Itar-Tass) —— President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich may discuss the issue of former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko at their meeting in Yalta on Thursday, July 12.
“Any issue may be raised during a separate meeting between the leaders, including the most sensitive ones,” presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said. “I do not know if the situation concerning Yulia Timoshenko will be among them. But I do not rule out that it may be touched upon one way or another.
Timoshenko, born in 1960, is the leader of Batkivshchyna, the main opposition party in Ukraine, and of Yulia Timoshenko's Block. She was the Prime Minister of Ukraine in 2005 and between December 2007 and March 2010. Criminal proceedings were brought against her for allegedly making an illegal order for the signing of a contract concerning gas imports. On October 11, 2011, she was convicted as charged, including of abuse of power, and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment and a three-year ban on holding public office. Her subsequent appeal on points of law is currently pending.
Her application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on August 10, 2011. She alleges, in particular: that her criminal prosecution and detention were politically motivated; that there has been no judicial review of the lawfulness of her detention in Kiev's investigation prison No. 13; and, that her detention conditions are inadequate, with no medical care provided for her numerous health problems. She relies principally on Article 3 (prohibition of degrading treatment or punishment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
On October 20, 2011, the Prosecutor General's Office cancelled the decision to close the criminal case against Timoshenko in which she was charged with embezzlement of more than 25 million hryvnia (more than 10 million U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of 1995-1997, when Timoshenko headed the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine) and tax evasion in the amount of more than 20 million hryvnia.
On October 11, 2011, Kiev's Pechersky District Court sentenced Yulia Timoshenko to seven years in prison.
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.
In late December 2011, Timoshenko was transferred from the investigation prison to a correctional facility in the eastern Kharkov region.
Timoshenko is also facing new charges as former head of the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine.