In October 2011 Judge Rodion Kireev of the Kyiv Pechersk Court handed down his verdict in the case of the state vs. Yulia Tymoshenko. She was being tried on charges of exceeding her authority in a 2009 gas deal with Russia and squandering state funds. The outcome of the trial was never really in doubt, although the case had made considerable waves throughout Europe.
The sentence was seven years of imprisonment with a further three-year ban on occupying any position in government. Tymoshenko promptly filed a complaint with the Kyiv Court of Appeal, but any romantic hope that she might be acquitted and released was just that – pure romanticism. The state will brook no attempts to change the ending it has prescribed for this particular script and is currently making careful preparations for the appeal hearings.
Ukraine’s former prime minister has already spent five months behind bars. Neither protests in the country nor appealsfrom the international community have restored her freedom. It would seem that President Yanukovych is prepared to risk international condemnationin order to destroy his main political opponent and rival.