Legal woes mount for Tymoshenko
KIEV - Agence France-PresseUkraine’s jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was yesterday facing several new criminal probes in a case dating back to the 1990s amid growing concerns for her health.
The lawyer of the opposition leader said she had been handed formal notice by the tax authorities of the reopening of four criminal probes in her work as head of energy firm United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) in the 1990s. The case is separate to the charges of abuse of power on which Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years last month. In that case she was convicted of sustaining massive losses to the budget in a 2009 gas deal with Russia.
Lawyer Sergiy Vlasenko described the new investigations as “absurd” and said they were aimed at “eliminating Tymoshenko from politics” ahead of legislative elections in 2012. “We are expecting that they will continue to pile up judicial enquiries against her which have no connection with reality,” he added. The opposition leader has insisted that the seven year sentence was ordered by her arch-foe President Viktor Yanukovych who defeated her and other figureheads of the 2004 Orange Revolution in 2010 presidential elections.