People hold placards depicting Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko as they shout slogans during the opposition rally in front High Administrative Court of the country in Kiev on Sept. 10, 2012.
Judge representing Ukraine at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Hanna Yudkivska has gone on a maternity leave until the end of 2012, the Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper reported on Tuesday referring to an informed source in Strasbourg.
The article reads that the Ukrainian judge will return to work only next year. In addition, Christmas holidays will start in France on Dec. 22 and the ECHR will not hold hearings during the week before this date due to vacations of other judges.
A source in the apparatus of Ukraine's government commissioner for the ECHR Nazar Kulchytsky also said that the European court has warned the Ukrainian authorities about this and specified the reason for the absence of the judge.
"We received an official letter from Strasbourg reading that Judge Yudkivska is on a maternity leave," the source said.
It is mentioned in the article that the French government gives women only 16 weeks of child care leave with retention of position.
Meanwhile, lawyer Valentyna Telychenko, who represents interests of former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko at the ECHR and cooperated with the defense team of former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko when it filed its first lawsuit to the court [on illegal arrest and maltreatment in prison], was alarmed by the reports about the changes in the ECHR.
"No decision can be approved without a national judge. That's why the ECHR may announce its rulings on the Lutsenko and Tymoshenko cases only next year," Telychenko said.
Earlier, representatives of the Batkivschyna Party said that they expected to receive the court's ruling on the Tymoshenko case before the parliamentary elections.
"We hope that the ECHR will announce its verdict soon… I really hope that this will take place in the near month," Deputy Chairman of the Batkivschyna Party Oleksandr Turchynov said on October 7.
"We are expecting to receive a verdict in the next few weeks," Tymoshenko's adviser on foreign policy issues, Hryhoriy Nemyria, said in late September.