12:02 04.05.2013

PACE urging Ukrainian authorities to release Tymoshenko in response to ECHR's ruling

PACE urging Ukrainian authorities to release Tymoshenko in response to ECHR's ruling

Rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have urged the Ukrainian authorities to use all legal means to release former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko following the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on her arrest and pre-trail detention.

"We specifically expect the Ukrainian authorities not to wait with this until the Court in Strasbourg rules on her appeal against her conviction by the Ukrainian court. That would not be justifiable in the light of the court judgment," the co-rapporteurs for Ukraine of the PACE Monitoring Committee, Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden, EPP/CD), as well as Pieter Omtzigt, (Netherlands, EPP/CD) Rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on keeping political and criminal responsibility separate, said in a statement posted on the organization's Web site.

According to the Web site, Reps and Pourbaix-Lundin will visit Ukraine in early June. While, Omtzigt will present his report, which will focus on the criminal cases against Tymoshenko and former Ukrainian interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko, as adopted by the committee in April at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg in June.

As reported, on April 30, 2013, the ECHR has ruled that the arrest of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on charges of exceeding her powers when signing the 2009 gas supply contracts with Russia was politically motivated and was conducted in violation of her rights.

Apart from the complaint against Tymoshenko's arrest, her defense team also filed a complaint with the ECHR against a violation of her right to a fair and public hearing due to political motives (Articles 6 and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights), meaning her conviction in the 2009 gas supply case. The proceedings on the complaint were opened in October 2012.

Tymoshenko was arrested during her trial dealing with the conclusion of a 2009 gas supply contract with Russia on August 5, 2011.

On October 11, 2011, the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority when signing gas supply contracts with Russia in 2009. She has been serving her sentence at the Kachanivska correctional facility in Kharkiv since late December 2011.

Since May 9, 2012, she has been staying at a Kharkiv hospital and receiving medial treatment there.

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