Viktor Yanukovych has said he wants to pardon Ukraine's jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, but by law he can do so only after all courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, make their decisions.
"The simplest resolution is just to let Tymoshenko go. My reaction to that is this: I can't act outside the framework of the law… The president does not have such instruments. I have to do everything by the letter of the law," he said in an interview with Time magazine.
Yanukovych also added: "So when could these questions [of her release] arise? They can arise when the legal process is finished. When it is finished, when the courts have made their decisions, including the European Court of Human Rights, then it is in the president's authority to grant a pardon. And if this time comes, there is a procedure for this. But until the courts have made their decision, in a transparent, legal and procedurally sound way, I do not have the power to do this."
When asked whether he wants to do this, he said: "Of course. Of course I do."
Yanukovych has repeatedly said that the question of pardoning Tymoshenko depends on the procedure established by law.
At the same time, Tymoshenko has repeatedly said that she would not ask for a pardon from Yanukovych.