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Prosecutors to revise criminal charges against Tymoshenko

February 26, 2014, 21:03 UTC+3 KIEV
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said it would revise all criminal cases opened earlier against former Prime Minister and party leader Yulia Tymoshenko
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, February 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said it would revise all criminal cases opened earlier against former Prime Minister and Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

“I have issued instructions to study these cases and if they contain no proof of crime, a lawful and objective decision must be made [to revise them],” acting Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnitsky said.

Tymoshenko was arrested on August 5, 2011 in the so-called “gas case” for “systematically obstructing the establishment of truth, breaking order during the court hearings, ignoring the judge’s instructions, delaying the process and showing disrespect for the court.”

On October 11, 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for having acted in excess of her powers which had resulted in damage to national interests.

Tymoshenko was also barred from holding public positions for three years and has to pay a penalty of 189 million U.S. dollars in damages to Naftogaz Ukrainy.

She has also been charged with financial abuses in the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine.

The Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) that was headed by Tymoshenko before she became prime minister drew suspicion of the tax authorities back in 1996.

The tax authorities had noticed a discrepancy between the taxes paid by the company and its big turnover.

The Prosecutor General’s Office also filed a lawsuit demanding compensation from Tymoshenko in the amount of 19.5 million hryvnia in this case.

Then Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Blazhivsky said the damage had been caused by embezzlement of budget funds and tax evasion.

Ukrainian Security Service chief Igor Kalinin said the investigators had collected enough evidence to prove Tymoshenko’s culpable actions committed when she headed the United Energy Systems of Ukraine.

On October 20, 2011, the Prosecutor General’s Office cancelled the decision to close the criminal case against Tymoshenko 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 Tymoshenko 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.

Tymoshenko also faced the risk of being 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 Tymoshenko with notice informing her that she was suspected of involvement in the killing of MP Shcherban.

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

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

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

In late December 2011, Tymoshenko was transferred from the investigation prison to a correctional facility in the eastern Kharkiv region. She fell ill on August 18, 2011, two weeks after her arrest. She insisted that she be examined and treated by independent medics. On May 9, 2012, she was admitted to the Kharkov Railway Hospital for medical treatment.

The opposition demanded that Tymoshenko be set free and allowed to go abroad for medical treatment.

Tymoshenko was released from prison last week by a resolution adopted by the parliament.

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