Tymoshenko seeks to avoid criminal responsibility in murder case - prosecutor
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DONETSK February 27 - RAPSI, Anna Ivanova. Jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is seeking to avoid taking part in the trial over MP and businessman Yevhen Shcherban's murder, Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka told journalists in Donetsk.
Tymoshenko, who initially asked to be present during the questioning, has now refused to participate due to health reasons. "Isn't it obvious to everyone that Tymoshenko and her defense have chosen the only rule in the procedural game - that is, to avoid participation in considering the criminal case materials in court and to block all video conferences," Pshonka said.
The former prime minister has the legal right to take part in the trial via video link, he said, adding that special displays have been installed in the hospital and the pre-trial detention facility where she is kept. Despite the technical opportunities, all Tymoshenko wants to do is "to avoid criminal responsibility," he said.
"If she is not involved in the crime, then let the court provide its assessment," the prosecutor general said. He added that according to her medical assessment, Tymoshenko is capable of taking part in criminal trials.
In October 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of power based on a 2009 gas contract that she signed with Russia.
In late March, a second case bringing further charges against Tymoshenko was filed with Kharkov's Kievsky District Court. The case deals with her activity at United Energy Systems. She has also been accused of misappropriating funds.