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Opposition marks 2nd anniversary of Timoshenko’s arrest with protests

August 05, 2013, 23:24 UTC+3
Timoshenko is now undergoing medical treatment at a hospital in Kharkov
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KIEV, August 5 (Itar-Tass) - Timoshenko may also be incriminated in the MP Yevgeny Shcherban assassination case in which she is alleged to be the mastermind of the crime and ex-Prime Minister Pvel Lazarenko its perpetrator.

On January 18, 2013, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office provided Timoshenko with notice informing her that she is suspected of involvement in the killing of MP Shcherban.

Prosecutor General Pshonka said Timoshenko might be sentenced to life imprisonment in this case.

“Pre-trial investigation materials showing that Timoshenko made out a contract for that murder together with Lazarenko have been gathered,” Pshonka said.

According to Pshonka, Timoshenko and Lazarenko paid 2.8 million U.S. dollars for Shcherban’s assassination.

Timoshenko is now undergoing medical treatment at a hospital in Kharkov. She fell ill on August 18, 2011, two weeks after her arrest.

Physicians believe that Timoshenko has discal hernia. She had been complaining about pains in the back. Vlasenko said she is unable to get out of bed and the Kharkov doctors have been unable to make a diagnosis. “Yulia Timoshenko’s health has deteriorated and the reasons are unknown,” he said. But Timoshenko mistrusts Ukrainian medics and rejected their help. She insists that she be examined and treated by independent medics.

Timoshenko’s supporters demand that the Ukrainian authorities let her go to Germany for medical treatment. However this is prohibited by Ukrainian legislation.

Her lawyer, MP Sergei Stas said Timoshenko would make up her mind on this issue when she receives such an offer.

The opposition links Timoshenko’s release with the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. Some have even urged the EU to boycott the signing of the agreement at the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius this November.

However, Zita Gurmai, Vice Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs in the European Parliament, who visited Timoshenko last week, said the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU should not depend on the ex-premier’s fate.

She said it was wrong to keep a woman in prison but the fate of the country cannot depend on one person.

Gurmai noted that Timoshenko was being held in “very good conditions” and she was in “good shape.”

Her colleague, Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said decisions by the Ukrainian government and president that are as arbitrary as the one to jail Timoshenko jeopardise the deepening of relations between Ukraine and the European Union. “The release and rehabilitation of Yulia Timoshenko are prerequisites for the conclusion of an Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The rule of law, an independent judiciary and democratic progress are prerequisites for the entry into force of such an agreement,” the MEP stressed.

She called on the Ukrainian government to release Timoshenko on the basis of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.

“The Ukrainian opposition politician Yulia Timoshenko must be released immediately! The authorities in Kiev must finally comply with the ruling handed down by the European Court of Human Rights. The court's decision that Timoshenko’s imprisonment on remand constituted a human rights violation will become legally binding on 31 July, the expiry date of the period for objection. Three months ago, the court described the Ukrainian politician's detention on remand as arbitrary,” Harms said last week.

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