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Council of Europe ministers ask Ukraine about action on European Court ruling

September 27, 2013, 23:59 UTC+3
The Strasbourg court drew a conclusion in spring that the Ukrainian authorities had encroaches on Timoshenko’s right for freedom and personal immunity
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STRASBOURG, September 27 (Itar-Tass) - Council of Europe members have learned with much concern about a resolution of the supreme specialized court of Ukraine to turn down without consideration on merits a petition for revising the sentence to former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko under the natural gas imports case, the Council of Europe Ministers Committee said in a statement Friday.

The committee exercises control over the execution of rulings of the European Court for Human Rights.

The committee held a special session at the level of permanent representatives earlier this week to analyze action on the court’s ruling in connection with the Timoshenko case.

The Strasbourg court drew a conclusion in spring that the Ukrainian authorities had encroaches on Timoshenko’s right for freedom and personal immunity and had exceeded the admissible limits to restrictions on her rights.

After it, the former Prime Minister’s legal defense launched a procedure of revision of the sentence under the case, in which Timoshenko had been accused of occupational abuses in the process of signing agreements with Russia on the purchases of natural gas at the beginning of 2009.

However, the supreme specialized court turned down the lawyers’ petition on the pretext that the Strasbourg court had not considered the fairness of Timoshenko’s criminal prosecution.

The Council of Europe ministerial committee pointed out the difficulties that emerged in connection with reacting to the violations exposed in Timoshenko’s criminal case.

In the wake of it, committee members asked the Ukrainian authorities to provide information on the possible future steps that would enable the Council of Europe to judge about fulfillment of all the obligations envisioned by the Strasbourg court resolution.

Valeria Lutkovskaya, the Ukrainian parliament’s ombudswoman for human rights said earlier that only the Ukrainian judiciary could pass a decision on revising Timoshenko’s sentence.

“Only the court has a prerogative to determine whether the Strasbourg court’s ruling formulate an exceptional obligation, which requires a revision or annulling of the decisions taken previously,” she said.

Timoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2011 when a court in Kiev found her guilty of occupational abuses in the course of signing the natural gas deal with Russia’s OAO Gazprom.

She was placed to the Kachanovsky general penitentiary in the northeast city of Kharkov at the end of December 2011. Deterioration of health necessitated her transfer to a specialized ward at the hospital of Ukrainian Railways in the same city.

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