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KIEV, September 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko has decided to meet the press and said so in her petition to the head of the Kachanivska penal colony where she is serving her prison term.
“I learned from my counsel on September 11 that a number of domestic and international media want to meet and conduct interviews with me. As noted in the State Penitentiary Service's press release, any media can conduct an interview with anyone in the prison system if this person gives written consent. I hereby give my written consent for the media to conduct interviews with me,” Timoshenko wrote in her statement.
The ex-premier noted that such requests have been made by TVi, Channel 5, ICTV, STB, INTV, France-Presse, Ukrayinska Pravda, lb.ua, Korrespondent, BBC, CNN, ARD, CDF, Deutsche Welle, and other channels in the EU.
“I ask that I be informed immediately of any requests made to the administration of the Kachanivska prison by other media for interviews with me. Please consider all previous statements made by me refusing meetings with the media no longer valid,” Timoshenko said.
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), tax evasion in the amount of more than 20 million hryvnia by using a criminal financial scheme for settlements with the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine for natural gas and by concealing incomes from the operations of her offshore company Somolli Enterprise Limited from taxation.
On October 11, 2011, Kiev's Pechersky District Court sentenced Timoshenko to seven years in prison and upheld Naftogaz Ukrainy's lawsuit seeking compensation of 1.516 billion hryvnia (189.5 million U.S. dollars) for damage sustained by the company as a result of the gas contracts signed with Russia in 2009.
Timoshenko is also facing new charges as former head of the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine.