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Tymoshenko asking US attorney general to probe financing of report by Skadden

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Dec. 27, 2012, 1:54 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukraine's opposition leader ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
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Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has asked U.S. Attorney General to conduct checks of the financing of the reports by the U.S. law firm Skadden, which concluded that there was no political motivation behind the criminal case against the ex-premier 

"Yulia Volodymyrivna [Tymoshenko] has asked to hold the checks... We have filed a formal application requesting an inquiry into the violation of the U.S. laws and we expect the official reaction," the ex-premier's defense lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday. 

He stressed that such application was an ordinary request for a probe into unlawful activities. Vlasenko stressed that since such actions were conducted on the territory of the United States, Tymoshenko and her defense team turned to the U.S. attorney general.

Vlasenko said that Ukraine hadn't held a tender for holding a legal examination of the trial of ex-premier Tymoshenko, and the Skadden law firm was chosen without any competition.

The lawyer also quoted Ukraine's justice minister as saying that Ukraine paid less than UAH 100,000 for the examination, which doesn't require holding a tender.

Vlasenko said he was puzzled by the fact that such a small amount of money was paid to such a renowned U.S. company and suggested that someone might have paid the rest.

"We want to know who ordered this report," he said.

As reported, the Justice Ministry of Ukraine received an independent report from law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP concerning a legal examination of the trial of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, which says there were no political motives involved.

The Justice Ministry said the trial of Tymoshenko had attracted interest and attention from the international community, which concentrated on the claims by the ex-premier that there were political motivations behind the case, and violations of her rights. The ministry said this was why it had asked a leading international law firm to conduct a study of this case, considering all of the legal documents and the opinions of all parties.

According to the press service of the Justice Ministry, the firm's report showed that Tymoshenko had exceeded her authority and committed crimes: (1) in preparing directives describing the conditions she had agreed with the Russian premier; (2) in ordering the head of Naftogaz Ukrainy to sign an agreement with Gazprom without the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, and threatening to dismiss him if he refused; and (3) in misleading the head of Naftogaz Ukrainy by presenting him an official document with her signature and the seal of the Cabinet of Ministers, not taking into account that the Ukrainian government did not approve the given document, entitled "Directives."

"Even in those cases in which the report of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP says there were doubtful procedural decisions by the court, it says that these decisions were taken in response to the actions of the accused, who was aiming to hamper or stop the work of the court," reads a report from the press service of the Justice Ministry.

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