News / Europe

Former Ukrainian President Testifies at Tymoshenko Trial

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko speaks to the media after he testified against his 2004 Orange Revolution partner, ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, in her abuse of office trial in central Kyiv, Ukraine, August 17, 2011
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko speaks to the media after he testified against his 2004 Orange Revolution partner, ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, in her abuse of office trial in central Kyiv, Ukraine, August 17, 2011

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko testified against ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in her abuse of power trial in Kyiv Wednesday, while her supporters chanted "Shame! Shame!"

Yushchenko testified that the natural gas agreement Tymoshenko signed with Russia in 2009 was a bad financial deal for Ukraine, saying that Tymoshenko traded national interests in favor of political gain.  

Tymoshenko, who was charged with abuse of power and was arrested and jailed for contempt of court on August 5, has denied the charges.  She says they were orchestrated by current Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in order to keep her out of politics.

Tymoshenko is expected to be the main opposition candidate in next year's election.  She will not be eligible to run if she is convicted.

The gas deal, which Yushchenko says was signed at an inflated price, ended a price-war that had temporarily cut off Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.  Yushchenko said that Tymoshenko, who was preparing to run in presidential elections the following year, wanted to be seen as a "savior" for ending the price dispute.

The U.S. State Department and the European Union have said Tymoshenko's arrest appears to be politically motivated and have urged that she be released.  But Ukrainian President Yanukovich has refused to intervene, calling such action "unacceptable" and added that Ukraine's court system is independent and unbiased.

The former prime minister is one of about 400 officials under investigation for crimes allegedly committed while in office.  Critics say the only cases that have come to trial involve political figures opposed to President Yanukovich.

Tymoshenko rose to fame in 2004 as a leader of Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" street protests, which forced the Supreme Court to toss out the results of a disputed presidential election in which Yanukovich was initially declared the winner.  The two competed in last year's presidential election, which Yanukovich won.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs