Teixeira: EU concerned about new arrest Tymoshenko

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Dec. 9, 2011, 2:10 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira has said that the European Union is concerned about the holding of offsite court sessions in the prison cell of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. "The European Union is concerned about the circumstances that have recently developed [with Tymoshenko]," he said at a press briefing in Kyiv on Friday after a meeting between Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Nina Karpachova and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Ukraine.

Teixeira noted that an offsite court session was a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights ratified by Ukraine.

He said that a representative of the Danish Helsinki Committee would visit Ukraine next week.

When asked whether similar cases were reported in the judicial practice in the EU, the diplomat said: "I cannot remember there being similar cases with former political figures, with high-ranking leaders, and even with ordinary citizens... so that they suffered such arrests."

Tymoshenko has been in jail since Aug. 5, 2011. On Oct. 11, a court sentenced her to seven years in prison for abuse of office in signing a gas supply contract with Russia in 2009.

The appeal against this decision is to be considered on Dec. 13.

In addition, other criminal cases were opened against Tymoshenko, in particular, the case on the activities of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) corporation.

On Dec. 7 and 8, the Shevchenkivsky District Court held offsite sessions in jail and chose the measure of restraint for Tymoshenko in the UESU case in the form of arrest.

Tymoshenko's defense lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko said that the former prime minister had been arrested for an indefinite tem, "for life," under a ruling of the Shevchenkivsky District Court in Kyiv.

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