Criminal proceedings keep Tymoshenko from European People's Party summit

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Dec. 16, 2010, 11:08 a.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
A human rights activist, former rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for Ukraine (1995-2007) Hanne Severinsen has urged the Ukrainian authorities to stop intimidating its political rivals. Severinsen said this in a letter sent to the Ukrayinska Pravda Internet Publication on Wednesday.

"I was very disappointed to learn that the Ukrainian government has brought criminal charges against opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and that Tymoshenko was asked not to leave Kyiv on the eve of the summit of the European People's Party in Brussels," Severinsen said in her letter.

According to her, these are anti-democratic, non-European methods used by the Ukrainian authorities to prevent the opposition leader from travelling abroad to participate in important international events.

"As president, Viktor Yanukovych has repeatedly promised to comply with the European standards, I urge him to keep his promises and to return to the legal and democratic field, and stop intimidating political rivals," Serevinsen said.

As reported, the Prosecutor General's Office opened a criminal case against Tymoshenko charging her with the embezzlement of funds allocated under the Kyoto Protocol.

According to the PGO's press service, the politician has been prohibited from leaving Kyiv while her case is being investigated.
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