KIEV, April 19 (Itar-Tass) - An appeal to pardon former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is serving a seven-year jail term for what the Ukrainian judiciary classified as occupational abuses, has been submitted to the Presidential Commission for Clemency, the presidential press service said.
“The commission will consider the appeal and will make recommendations to the head of state on its part,” the report said.
Thursday, MP Lyudmila Denissova and another 20 or so women MPs filed a petition for pardoning the former Prime Minister with chief of the Presidential Administration staff, Sergei Levochkin.
“As we were meeting with Levochkin, the President received information on our visit and our petition and he promised to consider it in the shortest possible term,” Denissova, who represents Timoshenko’s Batkivshchina party, told reporters later.
Also Thursday, an appeal for pardoning Timoshenko was sent to Yanukovich by a group of Ukrainian diplomats.
“The world community views the absence of a decision to set Timoshenko free as a testimony to the lack of democracy in the Ukrainian state power and as the main obstacle to signing an agreement on association between this country and the EU,” the diplomats said.
Since Timoshenko’s imprisonment, the Office of the President has received more than a hundred various petitions for pardoning the former fiery leader of the ‘orange revolution’, which swept Kiev streets at the end of 2004.
Viktor Yanukovich said earlier that Timoshenko’s pardoning was impossible until the finishing of all the court trials in which she was involved.
“The problem of her pardoning has a legal and a procedural aspect in it,” he said. “Until all the trials wind up, it’s impossible to discuss her pardoning. The sooner they are over, the sooner we’ll be able to take up the issue.”
Timoshenko is featured in several criminal cases, including the one where another former Prime Minister, Pavel Lazarenko, and she are suspected of ordering the assassination of businessman Yevgeny Shcherban, who was a member of parliament at the time of his death in 1996.
If she is found guilty of complicity in that crime Timoshenko may face the prospect of a life term.
Also, she is suspected of organizing a scheme that led up to gross embezzlement of a third party’s property /in the amount of $ 375 million/.
Timoshenko, who is formally serving her jail term at a general penal colony in the northeast city of Kharkov, has been staying for more than ten months at a local hospital of the Ukrainian Railway Corporation where she is taking a protracted course of medical treatment under the supervision of a crew of visiting medical consultants from Berlin.
April 7, President Yanukovich signed a decree on pardoning former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, who was Timoshenko’s close political ally. He had been sentenced earlier to four years in jail.
A decision to pardon Lutsenko was taken upon a petition of the country’s ombudswoman for human rights, Valeria Lutkovskaya.