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You're reading: Tymoshenko: ‘I will never commit suicide’

Ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s lawyer, parliamentarian Serhiy Vlasenko, has shown reporters a statement written by the ex-premier prior to her arrest, according to the Tymoshenko website.

"I want to make a statement regarding the plan to arrest me. Clearly this is an act of revenge against a political opponent, but that’s not my point. I want to state that I have no intention of committing suicide. They don’t need to repeat the tricks they did with Kirpa and Kravchenko. I will never end my life with suicide. Everything I do is my battle against this criminal regime for Ukraine’s rightful place in the world. Glory to Ukraine. Yulia Tymoshenko."

Tymoshenko was referring to Heorhiy Kirpa, the transport and telecommunications minister in 2002-2004 who was rumored to be involved in deep financial corruption, including unlawful financing of President Victor Yanukovych’s unsuccessful 2004 presidential election campaign. Kirpa was found shot in the head on Dec. 27, 2004, at his dacha outside of Kyiv. His death was ruled a suicide.

Tymoshenko was also talking about Yuriy Kravchenko, the former interior minister who died from two gunshot wounds to the head on March 4, 2005. That death was also ruled a suicide. He died on the same day he was supposed to give testimony involving the Sept. 16, 2000, murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze. Some suspect Kravchenko of acting on ex-President Leonid Kuchma’s orders to silence the muckraking journalist. Kuchma denies involvement, but is charged with abusing his presidential authority in giving an order that led to Gongadze’s death.

Vlasenko said that Tymoshenko “wrote this statement and gave it to me a week ago when we learned that she might be arrested."

This afternoon Judge Rodion Kireyev granted the prosecution’s request to arrest Tymoshenko and jail her for violating court order.

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