Citing concerns with "selective justice" and politically motivated prosecutions of Ukrainian opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko under the administration of President Viktor Yanukovych, the European Union has delayed signing landmark free trade and association agreements with Ukraine.
Editor’s note: The following is a joint statement issued on Aug. 29 by the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, and Commissioner Stefan Füle on the judgement by Ukraine’s Higher Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases in the case of Yulia Tymoshenko.
“We have noted the outcome of the review by Ukraine’s Higher Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases of the verdict against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko which was presented this morning.
We regret that the consequences of the current situation will prevent two important leaders of the opposition from standing in parliamentary elections following trials which did not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal processes. We stress the importance for the Ukrainian authorities to redress the effects of selective justice, in the cases of Mrs Tymoshenko, Mr Lutsenko and others. This would also require implementation of further judicial reform steps.
We have also noted with concern a new sentencing of Mr Lutsenko on 17 August 2012. We will continue to monitor closely developments related to Court cases against Mrs Tymoshenko and Mr Lutsenko, as well as others. There is now a possibility to bring the case of Mrs Tymoshenko before the European Court of Human Rights.
We wish to pay tribute to the role played by former Presidents Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Pat Cox, on behalf of the European Parliament, in observing Court proceedings in Ukraine.”