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Piling cases on Tymoshenko

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Nov. 3, 2011, 10:49 p.m. | Ukraine — by Kyiv Post

Russian opposition Yabloko party activists, wearing Ukrainian national flower head bands, rally to demand freedom for former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko at the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.
© AP

Kyiv Post

Ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko led Ukraine’s government in 2005 and again from 2007-2010 under President Viktor Yushchenko. She made a fortune in the natural gas trading business under the patronage of ex-Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, in power from 1996-1997. Lazarenko is now serving a prison sentence in the United States after being convicted on money-laundering charges.

With Tymoshenko’s enemies back in power, not least among them Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and gas tycoon Dmytro Firtash, Ukrainian prosecutors seem determined to keep her locked up in prison far beyond the seven-year term she received on Oct. 11.

Here’s a roundup of her legal troubles, which she and many others in Ukraine and internationally say amount to political persecution rather than a genuine attempt to root out corruption. Even though some of the accusations go back to the 1990s, investigators say the statute of limitations has not expired.

Tymoshenko has been found guilty of: exceeding authority when brokering gas contracts with Russia in January 2009. The court sentences her to seven years in prison and required to reimburse the state $188 million in losses caused by the gas contract. She is also banned from taking a job as a civil servant for the period of three years after serving her seven-year prison sentence.

Tymoshenko is under criminal investigation on suspicion of:
  • involvement in contract killing of a Donetsk businessman and national lawmaker Yevhen Shcherban in 1996;
  • conspiring with Lazarenko to misuse public funds by shifting $405 million in corporate liabilities of United Energy Systems of Ukraine, a company that Tymoshenko co-owned and directed, to the state’s budget;
  • embezzlement of Hr 25 million in budget funds and evasion of the payment of more than Hr 20 million in taxes through the introduction of a criminal financial scheme regarding payments for natural gas by the United Energy Systems of Ukraine; she also allegedly concealed income in Tymoshenko’s offshore company;
  • misuse of public money by spending $350 million out of the $480 million Ukraine received for selling Kyoto protocol carbon credits on pensions instead of using it exclusively to fund environmental projects;
  • exceeding authority when authorizing as prime minister the purchase of 1,000 specialized Opel Combo medical vehicles at inflated prices, which allegedly incurred in Hr 67 million in losses to the state budget;
  • receiving Illegal VAT returns worth Hr 14 million for United Energy Systems of Ukraine in 1997-1999;
  • failing to pay VAT worth Hr 20 million for contracts between United Energy Systems of Ukraine and Gazprom in 1996-1997;
  • failing to pay Hr 681,000 in taxes from income from Somolli Enterprises Limited, a Cypriot offshore company Tymoshenko allegedly co-owned;
  • giving former Ukraine Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko a $86 million bribe in the 1990s;
  • an attempt of giving bribes to judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine in 2004 in attempt to get a court ruling which would release former managers of United Energy Systems of Ukraine.
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Anonymous Nov. 3, 2011, 10:54 p.m.    

All politically motivated?

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Anonymous Nov. 3, 2011, 11:04 p.m.    

The list of Kuchma is much longer , and all the other crooks, Yanuconvict, Azarov, everybody!

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Anonymous Nov. 3, 2011, 11:06 p.m.    

So the running total gives? Yes Yulia faces the prospect of an additional 10,000,000 years in Sing-Sing. With time off for good behaviour she will be out in time to celebrate the Terra forming of Mars. And the EU? They don't give MONKEYS. Julia is yesterdays news. Today's news is the bankruptcy of Greece.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 6:56 a.m.    

Who-lia? Orange you glad you had a &quot;Revolution?&quot;

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 11:50 a.m.    

Yeah you yard ape from Donbass we are glad ,otherwise your Badekovitch would of wreaked havoc on us and Ukraina 5 years earlier and only God knows what we would of looked like if we had Bandekovich from 2004-at least we tasted a little freedom and prosperity but now we have STABILNIST moe like STALINIST....

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:57 p.m.    

UDAR 2012 and the Golden Belt Revolution!

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Anonymous Nov. 3, 2011, 11:33 p.m.    

As well you can add that she was responsible for Chernobyl becuae she tossed an earing in the reactor,she was resposible for 9/11 in New York since she was a member of Al-Queda,she was involved in the earth quake in Japan because at the time she was running near her home thus setting off the earth quake according to SBU officials.Yanukovtch has contacted the US state department that he has information from the SBU that Yulia was involved in the assasination of Pres. John Kennedy in Dallas in 1963,according to KGB-SBU files Yulia conspired together with the Banderivtsi to have Kennedy killed and blame it on Khrushev,THOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 3YEARS OLD AT THE TIME AND IN SADOCHOK- Yanukovitch and Azarov claim she was capable and very cunning.Yulia controlled the sadochok at 3 years of age making sure the children paid her 2 kopecks a week for protection money and 5 kopecks per week for extra kasha.Yanukovitch stated she will be prosecuted and imprisoned for these most serious crimes and that the SBU will continue to uncover more crimes as time goes by....

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Anonymous Nov. 3, 2011, 11:49 p.m.    

So what's your point???

It is obvious to everyone except perhaps the foolish lackey diaspora from western ukraine who ran away to the West, that she is a bonafide crook.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 11:43 a.m.    

The above statement/ paragraph brought to you by the J.Stalin Torture Committee and the Communist Party of Ukraine and the KGB the diaspora escaped our clutches but at least we got to terrorize the rest of the Ukrainian population...

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 7:07 a.m.    

Well written sir. May I congratulate you for your comments. Yulia is guilty of trying to help her beloved country no matter what cost to her personally. The European parliament needs to help address the witch hunt which is what this proud, determined and beautiful soul is facing.

The truth is going to come out, unfortunately it will probably be later rather than sooner.

We are with you in spirit here in blighty Yulia. Keep the faith Princess, people here love you and you know who they are. SVD XX.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 6:54 a.m.    

Not all the diaspora who ran away to the west are foolish lackeys. Some of us left a hopeless situation in disgust and sadly, things have only gotten worse.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:51 p.m.    

But at least you get to enjoy your Nazi pensions while we Ukrainians suffer!

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 12:34 a.m.    

You should choose a less filthy angel. Tymoshenko is an oligarch, and is corrupt to the core, just like all other oligarchs.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 6:49 a.m.    

Yes, the historical facts contained in the second paragraph of the article certainly raise suspicion as to the possible veracity of many of the charges leveled against &quot;St. Yulia.&quot; The difference is that Lazarenko was tried ONCE for multiple charges under a fair and democratic judicial system not subject to political party control. Yulia may not be being treated fairly, but she should be subject to justice.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 1:48 a.m.    

Yanukovych is beating a dead horse. Klychko will be the next president of Ukraine.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 6:41 a.m.    

I hope so. The old stable is pathetic!

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 3 a.m.    

In Denmark a new socialist government has taken over a month ago, and the new Minister of Foreign Affairs has started an investigation against the previous Minister of Foreign Affairs for his handling of a controversial case. This Stalinist-inspired move is regarded as pure vengeance and will of course die out soon, but it has now become known in the political debate as &quot;Ukrainian behaviour&quot;. So, Yulia (or should I say Yanukovitsj) has made her (his) country famous and added new colours to the political terminology.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 5:50 a.m.    

So lets kick her while shes down....Typical thug protocall and mentality....Unicockroach and his fleas and ticks while endure their karma in due time....Hold on tight Ukrainian Citizens, its going to be a rough ride and the road is long....Peace

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 6:59 a.m.    

UDAR 2012!

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:47 p.m.    

No, let's allow justice to prevail and move forward with reform and a viable political candidate who can elevate Ukraine from it present morass. UDAR 2012!

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:25 a.m.    

Whose fault is it that they're piling on the cases? It's not impossible that Yulia actually did these things especially given the lawless state of the two countrys she was operating in. How does KP know they're all false and trumped up- which is what the headline implies. Just because a) she happens to be an opposition leader and b) the accusing government is corrupt, it does not, nonetheless, follow logically that Yulia is innocent of the charges which are hardly trivial. (And the &quot;lawless&quot; state of Ukraine doesn't make her innocent either - tthe laws existed they just weren't enforced for certain people.)

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:45 p.m.    

Simply put: Two wrongs don't make a right!

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Anonymous Nov. 6, 2011, 8:26 a.m.    

lets not forget that it was Yushchenko that initated the persecution against Tymsohenko and others back in 2009

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:41 a.m.    

Yulia Tymoshenko is yesterdays news; politcally a faded flower or so she was, untill President Yanukovitch reserected her with a trumped up charge over a poor but VALID gas contract she negotiated with the wiley Russian PM Putin.

Sadly this overt misscarriage of justice has weakened the governments position when it comes to investigating her REAL perversion of position of influence to unsavory ends; items that LEGITIMATELY need to be investigated for both civil and criminal liability.

Specifically:

1) where is the $405million Russia claims as owing for gas delivered to her compnay and Yulia is in a position to ACCOUNT for??

2) The various taxes (VAT &amp;c)she alledgedly evaded.

3) Her entire dealings with Lazerenko who is perceived as criminal in USA and elsewhere, as well as in Ukraine.

4) a contract killing in Donetsk

Items the government ought to abandon, not persue:

1)KITING a CHEQUE to pay pensions without delay, when the pension money was on its way in to replace the Kyoto funds so borrowed and NO permanent shortfall was incurred, this is just more mud in waters. Kiting cheques while not so prevelent as indays before electronic transfers remains a common if risky practice but not one subject to being criminalised.

2)The 1000 medical cars may well have been like the deal with Putin for gas,the result of poor negotiating but if that is the case then it is a political decision to replace incompetency; incompetency if followed up as criminal would result in perhaps a majority of former office holders criminalised. This would occur most everywhere, not just in Ukrains.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:39 p.m.    

Lazerenko is not merely &quot;perceived&quot; as a criminal in the USA; he is a convicted felon serving time in a federal penitentiary whose conviction has been upheld on appeal and whose witness implicates Tymoshenko's possible complicity in the murder of rival businessman and national lawmaker Yevhen Shcherban in 1996.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 10:43 p.m.    

Nevertheless, Ms. Tymoshenko is still glorified in the western media and her corrupt past is not mentioned. The west mistakes dyed golden plaits for a halo.

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2011, 11:58 p.m.    

Well said although the shreiking pussy whipped Tymoshenko banshees that prowl the KP website will vehemently deny this

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Anonymous Nov. 5, 2011, 1:55 a.m.    

I think the western governments would not be shouting so loud about her if her court case looked like it was conducted fairly. The Ukraine government, time and again, says that it wants to take Ukraine into the EU. One of the rules of the EU is justice. Justice should also be seen. In Yulia's case, justice was no where to be seen. That is why there is such an uproar over it. If the case was conducted fairly, I do not think there would be so many complaints coming from the EU.

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Anonymous Nov. 6, 2011, 8:24 a.m.    

Sorry but the &quot;West&quot; silence on the judicial abuse in Ukraine is defening but I would not say it is loud. Far from it. They have imposed sanctions on Belarus but not Ukraine. Why?

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Anonymous Nov. 6, 2011, 8:22 a.m.    

This is a clear case of selective justice and persecution. If anyone should be facing trial and judicial review for misuse and abuse of public office it is victor Yushchenko who breached on a number of occasions his oath to the people of Ukraine and Ukraine's Constitution. Why is it that Yushchenko has not been charged?

Then there are clear and obvious corruption in the wealth of many members of parliament and government officials. They should all be subject to a financial tax audit and any unexplained or unaccounted for wealth should be confiscated and or taxed to help pay for Ukraine's mounting debt.

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Anonymous Nov. 6, 2011, 8:48 a.m.    

Ukraine will never be a free, democrato=ic law-abiding state as long as it remains beholden to presidential authority and subject to rule by presidential decree. The main achievement of the Orange revolution was the progressive step forward in introducing constitutional change. Yushenko destoryed confidence and trust and Yanukovych soon after being elected president consolidated power and wound back democractic reforms.

Unless and until the opposition become united, in support for adopting constitutional reform and a full European system of Parliamentary democracy, Ukraine will continue to flounder.

The Venice Commission and PACE have bloth recommended that Ukraine follow in the footsteps of Estonia and Latvia and adopt a fill Parliamentary model of governance. With parliamentary elections less than one year way its political leaders have no policies or solutions to Ukraine's endless struggle for democrtaic change.

Yatseniuk has no policies; Tymoshenko has no clear vision; Our Ukraine is opposed to demeocratic representative government; Party of Regions is trying to turn bback the clock by reintroducing a failed MMP system and an unrepresentatove first-past-the-post voting system.

Europe has on many occasions highlighted the flaws and provided good advice on reform which has been ignored.

I see very little chance or prospect for any meaningful change long tern solution to Urkaine's ongoing crises.

You can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink.

Sadly Ukraine is a defunct state without effectve leadership or committement to democrcay, rule of law or represenative government.

It is up to Ukraine and its leaders to act in Ukraine's best interest.

A parliamentary democracy is by far the preferred option. Remove power from the office of the president, reform the parliament and embrace a new justice system based on the rule of law.

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Anonymous Nov. 7, 2011, 2:58 a.m.    

Ukraine looks much more democratic now than before.

Tymoshenko is a criminal. Just look at that terrifying list!

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