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Home arrow newsitems arrow E.Tymoshenko + Lawyers of jailed f.Prime Minister +Ukranian Government to EuroFora on ECHR+ EU moves

E.Tymoshenko + Lawyers of jailed f.Prime Minister +Ukranian Government to EuroFora on ECHR+ EU moves

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

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*Strasbourg/ECHR/- Both jailed former Prime Minister Tymoshenko's daughter, Eygenia, her Lawyer Vlasenko, and Ukranian Government's Legal Agent Kulchytsky, speaking to "EuroFora" inside the ECHR after the 1st Public Hearing on the world-famous case, clearly pointed at important EU/CoE forthcoming developments in the following days/weeks, after today's controvercy on allegations of inhuman/degrading  treatments in prison, including mainly a New Application to EuroJudges, now on the Substance of this affair,  but also at a call for EU Sanctions "directly against" those who are held as responsible for what was denounced as a politically motivated prosecution against a prominent opposition leader in the country, while the current Ukranian Authorities claim that all this wouldn't be but only an attempt to politically discredit a fight against corruption and other crimes, before the forhcoming October 2012 Parliamentary Elections.

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- "EuroFora" was initially surprised by the fact, that during all ECHR's 1st Public Hearing on the case of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, who has been already judged, condemned, and closed to Prison for almost a Year now (2011 - 2012), nevertheless,  there wasn't yet "any Discussion "about the Substance" of the issue, i.e. on the Condemnation istelf, but just about Prison conditions, as we observed in Questions raised to both Lawyers of Tymoshenko and of the Ukranian Government :

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- It's "because ....this will be lodged the Day after Tomorrow", (i.e. immediately after the final verdict of the Ukranian Higher Court on Tymoshenko's complaint against her condemnation for allegedly brokering irregularly an Agreement with Russia on Gas transfert to the EU at prices now considered as excessive, by the current, Yanukovich Government), anounced, in reply to "EuroFora"s Question, Yulia Tymoshenko's Lawyer, Sergiy Vlasenko.

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+ "No, the Susbtance (of the Tymoshenko case) was not included in this complaint. It was only about the preliminary procedure detention. So that the Condamnation couldn't be taken into consideration" in this Hearing. However, meawhile, "we have exchanged more concrete arguments before the ECHR through Reports by writting", added in reply to "EuroFora" the Legal Representative of the Ukranian Government, Nazar Kulchytskyy.

- "The Worst of all was that we couldn't yet raise the Main Issues on Article 6 (of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees a "Fair Trial"), because the (Ukranian) Authorities have been constantly Postponing the last Court's decision" (on Yulia Tymoshenko's Appeal), which will be published Tomorrow. And that's when we would be able to Start asking for my Mother to be Released, ......because the main point is that she's already in Prison for more than a Year", anounced also her Daughter, Eugenia Tymoshenko, speaking to Journalists including "EuroFora" at the ECHR's premisses after the 1st Hearing.


+ However, "a decision made by the European Court" of Human Rights, "would be a Support for our fight". "We need Outside Pressure,".. "because the situation inside the country is "Unacceptable", and  it's "the only way for my Mother to be Released".... "We believe that once the (European) Court makes the Decision that it has to take, and which, we hope, will be supportive in her struggle in the Prison", things can start to change. -"May be the (Ukranian) Government might not ... (fully comply with ECHR's judgement at once, but, of course we'll fight, and, still, we'll have some arguments and documents in our hands", in order to face an "Immense Pressure from the Regime", helping to prove the fact that "the Truth is on our side", the Daughter of the jailed former Prime Minister of Ukraine added.
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+ Meanwhile, replying exclusively to an "EuroFora"s question on the role that EU prospects for Ukraine's European Integration might play in helping to find a mutually acceptable solution and ease the conflict in this and other similar cases, the Daughter of the former Prime Minister appeared adamant :


- "Ukrania is not only a CoE Member, (i.e. in principle obliged to comply with ECHR's Judgements).  "Already In 2008, when my  mother  was Prime Minister, were made "1st steps" towards EU Integration". F.ex., "there were discussions (with the EU) on a Trade Agreement, an Association Agreement, etc.", she reminded.

- "But now, when the situation Worsened, and Today .. we have even Political Prisoners, as a New Phenomenon in Ukraine,  of course,.... because of this existance of Political Oppression, the existance of a Waning Freedom in Ukraine", as she said. In fact, "not only my Mother is politcal prisoner, but also, until the recent past, there were also another 2 Political prisoners, now there is 1 more. But there are also Dozens of People more who are running to escape from the regime and its pressure, and it's very important to realize that Dozens of People  are oppressed now by the Prosecution Machine, controlled by (the President)", as Eugenia Tymoshenko found.

=> - "That's why, the EU obviously cannot  say that Ukraine is moving towards abiding to European commitments on Freedom and Human Rights", the Daughter of the Jailed former Prime Minister criticized, denounced from her point of view, (which largely fits most recent Critical reactions from various ΕU Officials on this and other similar cases).
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>>> In consequence, "the only Influence that can be done (exerted) (by the EU) to Change the way the (Ukranian) Government is treating its political opponents, is by Sanctions  applied Directly to the People who exert those pressure against Human Rights : F.ex. by restricting their Travels, by seizing their (Bank)Accounts, etc".     

    
- "Because several People who are in the Government now, they don't care about the political Situation in Ukraine and its Position (vis a vis the EU)", she denounced, apparently trying to explain by that argument the relative Inefficiency of EU action until now.


- , That is to say, No (EU) Sanctions which might affect certain People, but not the whole County ?", "EuroFora" asked to clarify : -  "No, (only) Directly to the(se) Persons", Eugenia Tymoshenco concluded.
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    Denouncing what they claimed to be Inhuman/Degrading Treatments in Jail, contrary to Art. 3 of the PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights, during the 1st Publlic Hearing by ECHR, Yulia Tymoshenko's Lawyers criticized, among others, also a series of Concrete Facts, concerning, f.ex., Poor Food Quality, insufficient Water for Shower, bad Heating, insufficient or lacking facilities for Physical exercive, awakening at 5 a.m. to attend Investigations against her at Courts or even "in the Cell", Artificial Lights being kept open almost all day-long, Isolation, the only Window with a hole for Air Ventilation to her Cell being located "Too High" so that it was impossible to use it freely, Permanent Monitoring by Video, refusal of Independent Medical advise and/or Tests only by persons that she trusts, etc., as well as a "Violent" Transfert to a Hospital overNight, which would have caused "Bruises" to her Hands and Body, after allegedly being "beatten" by Guards, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                       
    The Lawyers representing the Ukranian Government, dismissed such claims, pointing at several Changes by transfert to Betterr Cells, to the fact that Tymoschenko is using Food and Water by parcels brought by her Family or Friends, denied the alleged existence of permanently open Electric Lights, claimed that the Window wasn't inaccesible, (at least not in the latest Cell), contested the existence of 100% Permanent Video-monitoring and added thet Tymoshenko could ask from the Courts to stop or reduce Video-Monitoring, claimed that the former Prime Minister was in fact trying to avoid any Medical Treatment provided by State Doctors, even when they were included in a Committee with the participation of the Foreign Doctor she prefered, and denied any undue Violence during the precited overnight transfert to a Hospital, claiming that the alleged Bruises might have been caused by Herself, or be due to her supposed illness, etc., and criticized the fact that she had refused Forensic Examinations by a Medical Committee in which participated a German Doctor of her choice.

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    ECHR anounced that it had asked both parties to discuss in particular the Permanent Video-Monitoring and the overNight Forced Transfert claims, while also asking the Ukranian Authorities to comment on the alleged bruises in Tymoshenko's body. Her Lawyer observed that it was her Right to freely choose the Doctor and the Medical team that she trusted for any crucial Examination, (f.ex. Blood tests, etc).


    Earlier, EuroJudges had intervened, with Urgent Measures, mainly in order to ask for an appopriate Medical Care, which apparently was at least partly obtained, later-on, convincing Tymoshenko to stop a "Hunger Strike" that she had started, particularly after a German Doctor of her choice was allowed to follow her Health condition, and provide advise. But ECHR afterwards refused another Tymoshenko demand which included a wish to be transfered to an Independent Hospital abroad, in Germany.
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    Speaking to Journalists, including "EuroFora", at ECHR's premisses after the Hearing, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's Daughter, Eugenia, described her Mother's version on what had happened during that "Forced Tranfert" to a Hospital :


- "It was late at Night", when "3 Guards came to my Mother's cell. She was lying down in pain,  and they tortured (took ?) her together. They said "we'll move you to the Hospital". She said that it was against the Law to Move her by Force. They said  : -"We've been given orders, we have to move you". ...So they grasped her, they took a blanket over her, and then, one put the Cuffs on her (arms), inside, through the blankets, ...And even though she was in the Blankets, because they didn't want to leave bruises on her body, still she had many bruises, because the Power used by the Guards was very Strong, and afterwards, she couldn't resist, and she just Cried, and cried  for Help, but .. (nobody heard her). She was kept  in the Hospital for 2 Days, and afterwars she showed her bruises", to her Lawyer, (who claimed, speakig earlier to EuroJudges, that he had immediately asked to see his Client, but was refused access for more than 1,5 Day under various pretexts).


    + By a symbolic coincidence, this 1st ECHR Hearing mainly focused on former Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's conditions of Detention, since now a Year, Christian Pope Benedict's "Prayer Intention for August" 2012, was anounced to be, precisely, "that Prisoners may be treated with Justice and Respect for their Human Dignity", as Vatican's Press service informed also "EuroFora" since the end of July 2012.                                                                                                                                                             
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    After many Months of Detention, suddenly, the incidents which incited ECHR to decide taking Urgent Measures about detention conditions in the Tymoshenko case, intervened while the Ukranian Autghorities had just anounced to the Press, on March and April 2012, that they felt to possess sufficient Evidence in order to start prosecuting the former Prime Minister also for 2 other, Different cases, concerning alleged Tax-Evasion when she had been working as a Business Manager in the Past, and a suspicion to have paid the Killers who had murdered another former Prime Minister and his wife, back on 1996, who had held also a Business with opposite interests, before being brutally gunned down by Killers who had allegedly been paid by a controversial former politician currently serving a jail-sentence in the USA, with whom she had briefly cooperated 15 years ago.      


    But Tymoshenko's Lawyer strogly denounced during the ECHR Hearing what he called the "Partiality" of Courts in Ukraine, claiming that there "was No Justice" possible as long as the current President Victor Yanoukovich's team was exerting excessive  "Pressure" against his political opponents in order to exclude them from the Political game.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
    President Yanoukovich's allies, including the deputy Prosecutor, etc., on the contrary, have claimed that Tymoschenko tried to discredit the Ukranian Auhorities' efforts against Corruption and Crime,  allegedly abusing of the Media and Political relations.
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    Meanwhile, at an earlier affair before ECHR, former JHA Minister Lutsenko, who was the 1st to be jailed among leading politicians of the opposition,  after being reportedly slandered by German Newspaper "Bild" about a supposed 2009 incident at the Frankfurt Airport, which was exploited by his foes, obliging him to quit, etc., before the Error was, finally, aknowledged by Bild, asking too late for excuses about the way they reported on what really happened at the nearby City, (whose Press-Reporters are known for gross Publicity in favor of Turkey, a GeoPolitical "Competitor" of Ukraine in EU Accession stakes)... 

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While previously, many Ukranian Media had reported that Detention was imposed to Tymoschenko for her behavior in front of the Court, on the contrary, the Ukranian Government's representative said today to ECHR in Strasbourg that the real reasons were a risk that she "might abscon", and/or "obstruct the establishment of the Truth" by the on-going Investigations, to which she was accused not to cooperate enough, but abuse of eluding tactics, (although her lawyer replied that she had been present, on time, in all Court's hearings, with the sole exception of a small delay of 20 minutes once, as he said).

    But similar claims have been already rejected by ECHR in a recent judgement on former JHA Minister Lutsenko, last July 2012, because Ukranian Courts had not replied properly to his arguments contesting the detention, while the Ukranian Authorities had motivated the deprivation of liberty by pointing to the big, National and International Press Interest for his case, alleged attempts to discredit the prosecution, while also contesting even his Right for Strong Critisicm against  excessive and/or groundless accusations. Added to rather "Selective" persecutions of mainly Opposition Politicians for alleged "Corruption", as ECHR found, Lutsenko's condemnation seems to have been made "Not only for suspicion to have committed an offense, but also for Other i.e. probably Political) reasons", EuroJudges concluded, condemning Kiev to pay more than 15.000 € to the jailed former Minister.
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    EU Parliament has adopted a Resolution on Ukraine since June 2011, which expresses MEPs' "Concern  about the increase in Slective Prosecution of figures from the political Opposition in Ukraine, as well as the Disproportionality of measures applied, particularly in the cases of Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Lutsenko", particularly on "Custody", and "expressed its support for the Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner, Nina Karpachova, who has asked the Ukrainian Prosecutor General to consider the possibility of applying preventive measures that do Not involve Detention".


    At the same occasion, MEPs "stressed that ongoing investigations of prominent Ukrainian political Leaders should not preclude them from actively Participating in the political life of the country", as their Resolution said on the occasion of "Yulia Tymoshenko and other key political figures", obviously in view of the forthcoming, October 28, 2012, Parliamentary Elections.


    + In addition, the PanEuropean CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's Bureau, which meets in Paris at the beginning of September, is due to examine also the Monitoring of Ukranian October 28 Elections, while it cannot be excluded that developments on the Yulia Tymoshenko and other such cases of Political Opposition leaders threatened with jail, might be discussed  in Strasbourg both by EU Parliament's forthcoming Plenary Session in Strasbourg from 10 to 13 September 2012, as well as in PACE's October Session, 1 to 5 October.


    Meanwhile, CoE's Committee of Ministers, which holds its scheduled Meeting for the implementation of ECHR's Judgements towards the end of September 2012, might eventually start examining also ECHR's condemnation of the Ukranian Authorities, back on July 2012, in the parallel case of jailed former JHA Minister Lutsenko, which contains several Legal points apparently similar to certain aspects also of Yulia Tymoshenko's affair, (comp. Supra), as a matter of general principle on controversial imprisonment of acting political opposition leaders.


    Experienced observers don't exclude the risk, (particularly if nothing is done, meanwhile, to find a mutually satisfactory solution, or, at least, to alleviate useless or disproportionate restrictions of liberty and/or avoid more sufferings), that some Lobbies opposed to Ukraine's European Integration strategic aims, (most often because they are also, in fact Anti-European, and therefore against any European Cultural, Historic and Geographic Identity, and/or prefer Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid), might exploit any attitude by the Urkanian Government which might be perceived and/or presented as contrary to Kiev's Human Rights commitments vis a vis the CoE, in order to provoke even more Problems, Blockades, etc., in its unfolding relations with the EU.
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    On the contrary, "EuroFora", as a matter of principle, has always strongly supported Ukrania's EU aspirations, being among those who believe that such an "unquestionably European Country", which might strengthen EU's Cultural, Historic and even Geographic Coherence and Identity, while also having an important potential on Gas Transport, interesting Airplane Technology (Antonov, etc., which could be used f.ex. in cooperation wit EU's Airbus in order to find a much better, more performant and less expensive solution for EU's Military Air-Transport needs, instead of the controversial, old, Low-Tech. and too expensive "A400M" old coucou, notoriously pushed by a pro-Turkish lobby), Danube River's Delta for Energy a.o. Ship Transports via the Black Sea, interesting Raw Materialls and good Agricultural Land, etc., in addition to its well-known, exceptional potential to serve as a "Bridge" between the EU and Russia, (both in Energy transfert, and in Culture, Language, etc).


    Therefore, (and while acknowledging the fact that "EuroFora" is not yet familiar enough with the rather complicated Internal Politics inside Ukraine), it seems wiser to try to find an adequate Solution able to ensure at least basic respect for Human Rights and Democracy, as well as the Stability of Ukraine, in a way which can be helpful to the Country's legitimate EU prospects.
    
    Attempts to accuse various Political Opponents, for differend Economic or other affairs, seem frequent, on Both sides of the Political divide in Ukraine's recent History : Even the current President, Victor Yanukovich, had been reportedly threatened himself by such methods in the Past.. But now that a basic Agreement appeared among various Political Parties on the need to both advance towards European Integration via the EU, (regardless of the Separate controversy of NATO, since many EU Members are not at all inside NATO, including the current EU rotating Presidency held by Cyprus, etc), while at the same time, now both main political sides also agree on the need to have good relations and links to Russia, the Time might have come f.ex., for President Yanukovich and/or his friends to take some initiatives whixh could honour Ukraine's well deserved place as an Historically, Culturally, Geographically and Economically integral part of a Political, Democratic Europe with a Popular identity, respecting its Citizens' basic Human Rights...


    He had already hinted himself, that he might be enclined to eventually consider taking such an initiative, that his Presidential capacity legally allows, (f.ex. decide a total or partial pardon, etc).
    

(.../...)

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version is due asap.)

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(Opinion).

 In Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs, as the New EU Parliament's President, new EU Commission's President (+ probably EU Council's President, EU Foreign Minister, etc) should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies.

At the heart of the biggest EU Countries, in France and Germany, EU Citizens clearly voted for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe based on Values, declared explicitly incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

This main choice was also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries, such as Austria (cf. promise of a Referendum), Spain (cf. EPP program's reservations vis a vis Enlargment), etc., while EPP Parties won also in Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, etc.

In other Countries, whenever Governing coalitions didn't make these choices or eluded them, continuing to let a Turkish lobby push for its entry into the EU, they paid a high price, and risked to damage Europe, by obliging EU Citizens to massively vote for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to offer a possibility to promise  real change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU :

It's for this obvious reason that British UKIP (IndDem) succeeded now (after many statements against Turkey's EU bid) to become Great Britain's 2nd Party, unexpectedly growing bigger even than the Governing Labour Party, as well as the Liberal party  ! Facts prove that it's not an isolated phenomenon : A similar development occured in the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders "Party for Freedom" (PVV) became also the 2nd biggest in the country, (after EPP), boosting the chances of a politician who had withdrawn in 2004 from an older party "because he didn't agree with their position on Turkey". And in several other EU Member Countries, even previously small parties which now focused on a struggle against Turkey's controversial demand to enter in the EU, won much more or even doubled the number of their MEPs (fex. Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, etc).

On the contrary, whenever Socialist and oher parties were explicitly or implicitly for Turkey's controversial EU bid, they obviously lost Citizens' votes and fell down to an unprecedented low.

In consequence, EU Citizens clearly revealed their main political choices, in one way or another : They voted to change for less Bureaucracy, but more Politics and Values in a Europe really open to EU Citizens, but without Turkey's controversial EU bid.

Recent political developments are obviously different from the old political landscape which existed in the Past of 1999-2004, when Socialists based on Turkish 1% vote governed undisputed not only in Germany, but also in the UK, Greece and elsewhere, France followed old policies decided when it had been divided by "cohabitation", before the 3 "NO" to EU  Referenda since May 2005, before Merkel, before Sarkozy, etc.... before the surprises of 7 June 2009 new EU Elections.

If the current candidates to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, OK.

Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People.

The beginning of crucial, final Decisions are scheduled for the 1st EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg, in the middle of July, and they could be completed towards the October session, when Lisbon Treaty's fate will have been fixed.


See relevant Facts also at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/2009electionsandturkey.html
http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/daulelections.html
http://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/euroelectionresult.html

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