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Tymoshenko boycotts 'farce' appeal trial

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Dec. 22, 2011, 8:03 p.m. | Politics — by Reuters

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
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Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will boycott her own appeal against a seven year sentence for abuse of office, her legal team said on Thursday, branding the court case a farce. Tymoshenko, the fiercest opponent of President Viktor Yanukovich, was condemned for overstepping her powers in forcing through a gas deal with Russia in 2009. The European Union and United States said the trial was politically motivated.

The former prime minister dismissed the original trial as part of a campaign by Yanukovich to rid himself of a political rival, and filed an appeal. But on Thursday she and her lawyers accused the appeals court of being biased and said there was no hope for a fair trial.

"I have decided to refuse to take part in this shameful process and not to appeal the decisions of the two courts," she said in a statement. "Seeking truth and justice in Ukrainian courts is an absolutely useless task."

Tymoshenko has not attended any of the appeal hearings since they began on Dec. 1 as she lies in a prison hospital with back pain. She has been in detention since early August.

The European Union this week put off signing agreements on political association and free trade with Ukraine, citing Tymoshenko's case as an example of selective justice.

In a separate statement, Tymoshenko's lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko said her defence team would also boycott the hearings.

"These are not court hearings, this is a farce with clowns dressed in judge robes and clowns wearing prosecutors' epaulets and it makes no sense to take part in this farce," he said.

It was not clear whether the judge would proceed with the hearing without Tymoshenko or her lawyers.

Volodymyr Fesenko, an analyst at Kiev-based think tank Penta, said her move to boycott the appeal was a maneouvre aimed at generating sympathy in the West.

"Tymoshenko has decided a new twist was needed (in her case) that would show Western observers there was no justice in Ukraine," he said.

Her lawyer Vlasenko earlier said Tymoshenko's best hope lay with the European Court for Human Rights which this week said it would fast-track her case "in view of the serious and sensitive nature of the allegations raised".

Tymoshenko twice served as prime minister after leading the 2004 "Orange Revolution" which ruined Yanukovich's first bid for the presidency.

Yanukovich, who beat her in the 2010 presidential run-off, said this week he had nothing to do with her case and it was up to the courts and lawmakers to decide Tymoshenko's fate.

Ukraine's parliament on Thursday voted against considering an amendment that would have struck her alleged offence from the criminal code.
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Anonymous Dec. 22, 2011, 8:36 p.m.    

She and her team are correct. It is unfortunate that the Ukrainian people will suffer more economically with respect to European Union agreements not being signed because the farsical and clown prosecutors seek to eliminate the only real threat to the next presidential election with a long jail term on garbage can charges.

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Anonymous Dec. 22, 2011, 10:07 p.m.    

I agree.

Ukraine's legal system is a farce.

Attending a hearing only adds merit to the farce.

Tymoshenko's fate has been delivered and sealed.

The only remedy is the douche out the current regime and overhaul Ukraine's entire Judicial System.

And as gangrene... it needs to be done sooner than later; else 'goodby Ukraine' as we know it.

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Anonymous Dec. 22, 2011, 11:29 p.m.    

Ukraine's population boycotts 'farce' Tymoshenko.

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Anonymous Dec. 23, 2011, 12:46 a.m.    

Good for Tymoshenko! No point in squabbling with a kangaroo court

and monkeys in robes.

Waste of time.

Let the European Court embarrass Ukraine!

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Anonymous Dec. 23, 2011, 3:59 a.m.    

Tymoshenko must first exhaust her appeal rights within Ukraine before she can appeal to the European Court.

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Anonymous Dec. 23, 2011, 1:18 a.m.    

The ECHR takes years to consider cases. Even if they do agree with her, the stupid old whore will be long forgotten by the time she's through the process.

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