Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has submitted to the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv written statements from Mykola Siryi and Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk refusing to continue as her defense lawyers due to their inability to provide full defense in light of the lack of time given by the court to review the case file.
"This is the third time already that you’re not giving my defense the right to defend me. I have been denied defense in this trial. This isn’t coincidence. After you didn’t give lawyer Vlasenko time to review the case materials and threw him out of the trial, Mykola Tytarenko became my lawyer. But you also gave him just two and a half days to become familiar with the case. Now this applies to my two lawyers Mykola Siryi and Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk. They too weren’t given the opportunity to ensure my full defense. I believe the presiding judge is deliberately denying me my right to defense," Yulia Tymoshenko said today in court.
Mykola Siryi and Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk filed a similar declaration with the court, according to the Tymoshenko’s official website.
"We as Yulia Tymoshenko’s defense lawyers did all we could to demonstrate the absence of a crime in this case against Yulia Tymoshenko. In response, the presiding judge in the case, Rodion Kireyev, denied us the opportunity to become acquainted with the case. As a result, unacceptable conditions for a trial were created. In view of this, we have no right to continue providing the defendant, Yulia Tymoshenko, legal assistance."
Tymoshenko on numerous occasions had asked the court to uphold the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code that stipulate that a lawyer that has been admitted to a case for the first time be given the time necessary to review the case records.
However, Judge Kireyev ruled that three days was enough for Mykola Siryi and Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk to read the 16 volume, 5000-page case file and rejected all motions on this matter.
On Tuesday a small number of supporters of Judge Kireyev, who is presiding over the "gas case" trial, have organized a flash mob in the courtyard of the court in Kyiv .
They are calling for support of the "honest trial."
Ten people in black T-shirts with the inscription, "Tymoshenko – to account," are sitting on folding chairs with buckets of popcorn, an Interfax correspondent reported.
"We are at the circus and we are watching this circus," one participant said, adding that he was talking about the Pechersky court hearings of the case against Tymoshenko.
Tymoshenko also says that she will continue to communicate with her supporters via Twitter despite the fact that the court ruled to include her posts in the case file.
"The fact that yesterday they added my Twitter messages to the case means that there’s nothing to this case but Twitter messages. So I’d like to thank them once again for demonstrating that there’s no criminal case, that they’re grabbing at such strange things," Tymoshenko said before the start of today’s hearing.
On July 25, Kireyev granted the state prosecution’s request, presented by prosecutor Liliya Frolova, to include Tymoshenko’s Twitter messages in the case file on gas contracts signed with Russia in 2009 while she was premier.
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