Former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko should be declared a political prisoner according to three criteria determined by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), former Ukraine's Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Nina Karpachova has said.
“I welcome the position of PACE on the interpretation of the term ‘political prisoner.’ It is extremely important and, according to at least three criteria, Tymoshenko could be declared a political prisoner from the viewpoint of the determination approved by the Council of Europe,” she told Radio Liberty.
As reported, PACE is planning to analyze the situation with the criminal cases against former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, and decide whether they are political prisoners.
“Now we have to analyze the situation thoroughly in the light of the decision approved by PACE [resolution of PACE on Ukraine]. We don’t want to take a clearly political decision, we also need a legal analysis,” PACE co-rapporteur for Ukraine Mailis Reps said on October 8.
On October 11, 2011, Pechersky District Court in Kyiv sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for abuse of office in signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009.
Karpachova held the position of ombudsman from 1998. Her term expired on February 8, 2012.
On April 24, 2012 the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, elected a new ombudsman, Valeriya Lutkovska, who used to hold the position of the government’s envoy at the European Court of Human Rights. She took the oath on April 27, 2012.