News / Europe

Ukraine's Tymoshenko Calls Trial a 'Political Lynching'

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in court (June, 2011 photo)
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in court (June, 2011 photo)

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has denounced her abuse of power trial as a "political lynching," in her final statement to the court.

Speaking at the end of her trial Thursday, Ms. Tymoshenko called the trial a ploy used by President Viktor Yanukovych to rid himself of a dangerous political rival.  Standing up after weeks of remaining seated in defiance of the judge, Ms. Tymoshenko said she is innocent, adding that no document had proven her guilt.

The 50-year-old Ms. Tymoshenko is on trial in Kyiv on charges of misuse of power over a gas deal signed with Russia while she led the government in 2009.  She has not been convicted, but Ukrainian prosecutors have called for a seven-year jail term for the former prime minister.

Both U.S. and European Union officials have said the trial is politically motivated.  

The issue is expected to be high on the agenda at an EU summit Thursday in Warsaw that will discuss relations with six of the bloc's eastern neighbors, including Ukraine.  EU officials have warned the trial is damaging Kyiv's hopes of signing an association agreement by the end of this year, a key first step toward gaining EU membership.  

Since she lost the presidential election against President Yanukovich, Ms. Tymoshenko has been an active member of the political opposition.  

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

Ms. Tymoshenko is one of some 400 officials under investigation for crimes allegedly committed while in office.  Critics have noted that the only cases to come to trial involve political opposition figures.

Ms. Tymoshenko rose to fame in 2004 as the leader of Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" street protests, which forced the Supreme Court to toss out the results of a disputed election won by Mr. Yanukovich.  Mr. Yanukovich won the last presidential election in 2010.

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

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid