News / Europe

Ukrainian Court Keeps Tymoshenko Ally in Prison

Ukraine's former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko looks out from defendant's cage during a court session in Kiev, Feb. 27, 2012Ukraine's former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko looks out from defendant's cage during a court session in Kiev, Feb. 27, 2012
x
Ukraine's former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko looks out from defendant's cage during a court session in Kiev, Feb. 27, 2012
Ukraine's former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko looks out from defendant's cage during a court session in Kiev, Feb. 27, 2012
Reuters
A Ukrainian court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by a former interior minister and ally of jailed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko against his conviction, dashing his supporters' hopes that he might be freed as a concession to the West.
       
The European Union says the convictions of Yuri Lutsenko, 48, and of Tymoshenko, in whose government he served, smack of selective justice and political vengeance. Both politicians are opponents of President Viktor Yanukovich.
       
Brussels has told Ukraine it needs to address the issue of politically motivated trials if it hopes to clinch landmark agreements on political association and free trade this year.
       
But on Wednesday, Ukraine's High Court for civil and criminal cases largely dismissed Lutsenko's appeal against his conviction for embezzlement and abuse of office and his four-year prison sentence.
       
The High Court, whose ruling cannot be challenged in any other Ukrainian court, agreed only to slightly reduce the financial damages Lutsenko must pay to the state.
       
"He laughed when he heard the verdict,'' Lutsenko's lawyer Ihor Fomin told reporters as he came out of the courtroom. "We have exhausted all appeals nationally so we are filing this to the European Court [for Human Rights].''
       
Journalists were not let into the courtroom, where Lutsenko, who denies any wrongdoing, sat inside a glass-and-plastic box.
       
Although the ruling is final, it does mean that Yanukovich is now free to pardon Lutsenko, an option he has hinted he might exercise this year.
       
Foreign diplomats say Yanukovich may try to bargain with the EU, agreeing to let Lutsenko go but keeping Tymoshenko - a much more dangerous political foe - locked up as he prepares to run for a second term in early 2015.
       
Tymoshenko, a leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution protests that derailed Yanukovich's first bid for the presidency, was sentenced to seven years in prison in October 2011 for abuse of office.
       
Tymoshenko, who has dismissed all the charges against her as politically motivated, also faces a separate embezzlement and tax evasion trial, which has been delayed repeatedly while she is treated for back trouble in a state-run hospital.
       
In a third case, state prosecutors say they are investigating whether she is connected to a 1996 contract killing of a local businessman and parliamentary deputy.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid