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Ukrainian opposition demand prosecutor’s resignation

January 21, 2013, 14:35 UTC+3
Deputies initiate the extraordinary session in order to set up an investigation commission to look into constitutional violations in the imprisonment of Yulia Timoshenko
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

KIEV, January 21 (Itar-Tass) — Opposition in the Ukrainian parliament demands to summon parliament for an extraordinary session on January 29 to look into the arrest and imprisonment of ex-prime minister Yulia Timoshenko.

The leader of the Batkivshina faction, Aresny Yetsenyuk, has sent a letter with the demand to Speaker Vladimir Rybak. The document says that deputies initiate the extraordinary session in order to set up an investigation commission to look into constitutional violations in the arrest and imprisonment of Yulia Timoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko.

They want to listen to Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and State Security Service’s head Alexander Yakimenko on the situation with the observance of rights of political inmates in the country and participation of law enforcement agencies in political persecutions.

The agenda also includes the issue of no-confidence to the prosecutor general with his subsequent resignation.

On January 18, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office notified ex-prime minister Yuia Timoshenko that she was a suspect in the murder of parliamentarian Yevgeny Shcherban. According to the prosecutor general, “she can be sentenced to life in prison on that article”.

Pshonka also said that “pre-trial materials have been gathered that testify to the fact that Timoshenko indeed ordered the murder together with Lazarenko”. He said Timoshenko and Lazarenko had paid 2.8 million dollars for the murder. According to the prosecutor general, the “Shcherban case” and the case opened over debts of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine to the Russian Defense Ministry had been combined.

Parliamentarian Yevgeny Shcheran was gunned down on November 3, 1996 at the airport of Donetsk where he had arrived from Moscow. The attackers fled the scene in a car. The parliamentarian, his wife and a technician died of wounds. A flight engineer died in hospital of a gunshot wound in the neck.

Law enforcement agencies ruled out the political version of the murder and looked into the criminal version as the main one. Timoshenko and Lazarenko categorically deny their involvement in the murder.

The former prime minister is also accused of misappropriating public funds in the second half of the 1990s during her time as head of the biggest at the time United Energy Systems of Ukraine Corporation.

Timoshenko has been serving her seven-year prison term in the Kachanov penal colony in Kharkov for an abuse of power during the signing of a gas agreement with Russia in 2009. For the past eight months she has been undergoing medical treatment in the clinic of the Ukrainian Railways in Kharkov.

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