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Prosecutor: Videoconference in UESU trial takes into account Tymoshenko's reluctance to appear in court

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Aug. 14, 2012, 12:30 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

This picture taken on August 7, 2012 shows a video conference room prepared the hearing of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in Kachanivska penitentiary colony for women in Kharkiv. The decision to reconvene the hearing on August 14 came after prosecutors asked for the ailing 2004 Orange Revolution co-leader to be questioned from hospital by video conference so that the proceedings could finally be held.
© AFP

The possible use of videoconferencing in trial is a common European practice, Viktoria Kalyta, a prosecutor in the UESU case on charges brought against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has told Interfax-Ukraine.

"Our proposal to hold a hearing via videoconference is based solely on the provisions of the current legislation. My colleagues and I talked about this many times. The talks that participation in a hearing via videoconference is illegal and that allegedly only one separate procedural action can occur through videoconference are nothing but an attempt to interpret the provisions of the law as they want," she said.

She said that the possibility of holding a videoconference was envisaged in Article 85-3 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine.

"This provision foresees the defendant's possible participation in the proceedings via videoconference. This provision does not restrict the work of a lawyer who can be present in the courtroom and next to his client. My colleagues and I have repeatedly noted that the use of this provision is possible only with the consent of the defendant. Such a process is impossible without her consent," the prosecutor said.

When asked to comment on statements made by Tymoshenko's defense team that the use of videoconferencing could be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights, Kalyta said: "Frankly speaking, I don't understand what they are planning to challenge. The court can make such a decision solely on the basis of the defendant's consent. In addition, I want to emphasize that the practice of videoconferencing is a European practice, which is envisaged in the current and new Criminal Procedure Code in accordance with European and international standards. This provision is aimed at humanizing criminal justice and court proceedings. Accordingly, such statements are nothing but an attempt to pass the desirable for reality."

She also added that through such a petition the public prosecution had taken into account the defendant's position regarding her categorical refusal to appear in court.

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cedrik Aug. 14, 2012, 5:30 p.m.    

I think Mrs Tymoshenko is simply waiting out the process until 28 August when supposedly the ECHR will meet and declare her innocent. That conclusion, by the by, is a foregone done deal.

However, Ukraine has a number of arguments to counter the coming innocence verdict from ECHR, first and foremost of which is the ECHR violating their own regulations in hearing her case before she has exhausted her appeal rights in Ukraine. ECHR can 'fast track' all they want, but the whole process smells of money being passed around.

Even if she is declared a 'victim of political repression and selective justice', it still begs the question of is she indeed guilty of what she was convicted of? That does seem to be the case from news reports. If so, then ECHR has zero right to interfere in the internal workings of a sovereign country. Using the time worn carrot and stick of 'unless you do what we say we won't continue with the EU integration process' is getting old. EU has no intention of inviting Ukraine in to EU for another generation at the earliest, and has clearly stated so.

Ergo, why even pay any attention to EU and ECHR? Business will continue as usual, and Mrs Tymoshenko will be a forgotten number in a distant prison in short order.

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Roman Dawydiak Aug. 15, 2012, 7:37 p.m.    

People who engage in making false allegations concerning the European Court of Human Rights are either; a) ignorant of the purpose and the working procedures of that court, or b) engaged in a smear campaign in trying to defend a lawless regime. The ECHR which is a division of the Council of Europe is a body composed of independent judges whose responsibility is to evaluate and pass judgement on appeals from citizens or groups of member countries of the Council of Europe who can make a legitimate case for being wrongfully prosecuted and sentenced for alleged offences by courts in the member countries. These alleged offences concern HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS and any applicable consequences that are directly related. Any judgement pronounced by the ECHR cannot be appealed and it is a legal requirement of all member states to abide by the court's ruling. Failing to do so can result in severe penalties including expulsion from the Council of Europe. Ukraine has been a full member of the Council of Europe since 1996 and is fully aware of its contractual obligations. In this regard assistant chief prosecutor of the PGO of Ukraine, Rinat Kuzmin, has publicly stated that the Ukrainian Government would abide by any decision of the ECHR. On another note it should also be pointed out that allegations about ECHR judges being bribed is absolute rubbish. There has never been so much as a single case where this type of allegation has been proven or even come under serious suspicion. Finally, in the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, most political pundits agree that the overwhelming evidence provided by the Opposition in Ukraine in regards to her trial was so incredibly flawed that the ECHR has little choice but to pronounce her not guilty of all charges. As for the "new" charges levelled against the former PM only time will tell as to the outcome of those proceedings. In that case the upcoming elections for a new Verkhovna Rada may determine an entirely different course for the judicial system in Ukraine.

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blueriver Aug. 14, 2012, 8:47 p.m.    

Yulia Tymoshenko will never be forgotten, also neither will Viktor Yanukovych also , everyone remembers Yanukovych and the corrupt elections in 2004, he was very angry to lose, and Putin was mad at Yanukovych........In 2010 election Yanukovych and his team on soviet mentality men with Putin made no mistake.....and to be 100% safe of power moving forward Guess what..they put Yulia in Prison.

Yulia is a respected world leader - Yanukovych not respect by Europe only by his friend Putins Russia

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cedrik Aug. 14, 2012, 10:15 p.m.    

Do try to stick to comments on the article.

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Roman Dawydiak Aug. 15, 2012, 7:07 a.m.    

My dear Cedrik, why don't you try and stick to the subject of the article? The matter of discussion was video conferencing which had absolutely nothing to do with your nonsensical diatribe about the ECHR with which you obviously spent little time, if any, doing proper research.

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cedrik Aug. 15, 2012, 6:08 p.m.    

What I said has everything to do with the article. Your comment on the article had precisely zero to do with the article. Try again, now there's a good boy.

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Roman Dawydiak Aug. 15, 2012, 7:40 p.m.    

RUBBISH! Read the commentary above my dear sovok.

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cedrik Aug. 15, 2012, 7:50 p.m.    

As I've told you before, none of your commentaries mean anything. Been to Ukraine lately?

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Roman Dawydiak Aug. 15, 2012, 9:05 p.m.    

Still fishing Cedrik?

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