Yulia Tymoshenko gets 7 years in prison in "gas case"
A Kiev district court sentenced former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for abusing power in the execution of gas contracts with Russia in 2009. The Prosecutor General's Office alleges that Tymoshenko signed unfavorable contracts with Russia in order to improve her image in preparation for the 2010 presidential elections.
On October 11, a Kiev district court sentenced former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for abuse of power for signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009.
The court also upheld a Naftogaz Ukraine civil lawsuit and ordered Tymoshenko to pay 1.516 billion hryvnia (about $189.5 million) in damages to the national oil and gas company. Early in the trial, Naftogaz Ukraine claimed compensation of 1.5 billion hryvnia from Tymoshenko for the damages incurred as a result of the gas import deals the former prime minister signed with Russia at the height of the bilateral gas crisis.
Tymoshenko interrupted Judge Rodion Kireyev and noted that the verdict “deprives Ukraine of its freedom.” The judge raised his voice and continued to read out the verdict, without paying attention to Tymoshenko.
Immediately after the “gas case” verdict was read out, Tymoshenko said she disagreed with the seven-year prison sentence. “We will defend my honor at the European Court of Human Rights,” she said. “We have no hope for the national judiciary system.”
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office believes Tymoshenko signed unprofitable gas contracts with Russia in 2009 to improve her image in the run-up to the 2010 presidential elections. The prosecutors requested that the court sentence the former prime minister to seven years in prison.