US disappointed with Ukraine high court's dismissal of Tymoshenko's appeal
WASHINGTON, August 30 - RAPSI. The United States is disappointed with the dismissal of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's appeal of a sentence imposed for signing illegal gas deals, according to US Department of State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
On Wednesday, the High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases dismissed Tymoshenko's appeal, thus leaving her seven year sentence in force.
"Well, obviously we're disappointed by this decision. We have, as you know, repeatedly raised our concerns about politically motivated persecutions of opposition leaders and former government officials in Ukraine, including Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko. We continue to urge the Government of Ukraine to free Mrs. Tymoshenko and other members of the government and to restore their full political and civil rights," Nuland explained.
In October 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of power after signing a gas contract with Russia in 2009. She is serving her sentence in a Kharkiv women's prison. She has been receiving treatment at a Kharkiv hospital since May 2012. She was diagnosed with a spinal disc herniation.
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will file an application with the European Court of Human Rights against the Ukrainian High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases' decision to leave her sentence unchanged on charges of having made illegal gas deals while serving as prime minister, said her attorney Sergei Vlasenko.
In late March, a second case against Tymoshenko was filed with the Kharkiv Kievsky District Court. The case deals with her activity at United Energy Systems. She is suspected of charges of financial machinations.
The verdict has aggravated Ukraine's ties with the EU. The West has called the sentence politically motivated, while the Ukrainian government has flatly denied the charges.
Last December, an appeals court left the sentence unchanged and transferred the former prime minister to a Kharkiv prison. Her defense appealed to the Supreme Specialized Court for Considering Criminal and Civil Cases in February. The court was made the final instance after judicial reforms in 2010. Its decisions are not subject to dispute.