Thanks to an appeals court ruling this week, ex-President Leonid Kuchma is a free man. It looks like he will avoid standing trial despite mountains of evidence that has piled up for more than a decade that links him to the Sept. 16, 2000 kidnapping and brutal murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze.
In contrast, opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, President Viktor Yanukovych’s most feared rival, remains imprisoned thanks to a rushed one-year investigation and half-year hearing where the main piece of evidence was nothing more than a photocopy of an order she allegedly gave a subordinate. The original was never produced. Key defense evidence and arguments were ignored.
As Kuchma enjoys a luxurious lifestyle thanks to a fortune built up under his crony capitalistic rule by a billionaire son-in-law, Tymoshenko may be facing additional criminal charges.