Ukrainian PM: Only Court Can Set Tymoshenko Free

World | May 16, 2012, Wednesday // 19:43|  views

An undated picture made available on 27 April 2012 shows Yulia Tymoshenko showing her bruises, from alleged beatings by prison guards, in Kachanivska prison in Kharkiv, Ukraine. EPA/BGNES

Jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, may only be released after consideration of her appeal but not at "the command of the [executive] authorities", Ukraine's current PM Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday Ukraine's civil and criminal high court delayed consideration of Tymoshenko's appeal until June 26, due to the absence of the former prime minister on medical grounds and the need to study "additional materials".

"The consideration of the appeal is the only possible solution in terms of the law," Azarov said at a conference in the European Parliament on Wednesday, as cited by RIA Novosti.

"What other solution could be found in a state considering itself based on the rule of law? Who thinks that authorities can solve this problem?" the Ukrainian prime minister said.

According to Azarov, the government can only ensure strict observance of Tymoshenko's rights during the appeal process, and if the court rules her appeal has a legal basis Tymoshenko will be immediately released.

The European Union will send its doctors to Ukraine to provide treatment to Tymoshenko, European Parliament President Martin Schultz said after a meeting with Azarov.

Schultz added that the Ukrainian prime minister had agreed to the EU plan.

The EU will also send its lawyers to Ukraine to participate in the consideration of Tymoshenko's appeal in court, Azarov said.

"We are interested in EU representatives seeing for themselves that the process is open and absolutely objective," he said.

Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years for pushing through a 2009 gas deal with Russia. Authorities in Ukraine say the deal has caused multi-billion-dollar losses to the country's economy and deny accusations by Western powers and Russia that the trial was politically motivated.

Tymoshenko began serving her sentence at the end of December 2011 at the Kharkov prison, and is experiencing health problems. On May 9th she was moved to a Kharkov hospital. Prior to this Tymoshenko was on a hunger strike in protest against what she claimed was cruelty in the prison.

The jailed ex Prime Minister claims that her political rival, President Viktor Yanukovych, is using the country's judiciary to punish her. She denies wrongdoing and says she is being persecuted by President Viktor Yanukovych.

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Tags: Yulia Tymoshenko, EU, EC, European Commission, European Union, Russia, gas crisis, 2009, gas war, Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister, EU President, EU Council, European Council, Mykola Azarov, Ukrainian Prime Minister, Ukrainian President, Eurasian Union, Russia, Viktor Yanukovich, Viktor Yanukovych


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