Ukrainian parliaments rejects bills to free Tymoshenko
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||8 February 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Ukrainian parliaments rejects bills to free Tymoshenko, 8 February 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f3bc76a19.html [accessed 19 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
February 08, 2012
Ukraine's parliament has rejected two bills that would have secured the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was sentenced in October to seven years in prison in a process that rights groups and foreign governments have condemned.
Tymoshenko supporters managed to rally just 155 and 157 members of parliament to vote for the bills to change the law and abolish prison terms for abuse of power. They needed a majority of at least 226.
Tymoshenko was sentenced for signing a series of gas deals with Russia in 2009, when she was prime minister, which the government of President Viktor Yanukovych says were unfavorable for Ukraine.
She says her trial was political persecution by Yanukovych, whose presidential ambitions were initially thwarted by the 2004 Orange Revolution but who defeated Tymoshenko in a 2010 presidential runoff.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorksi, on a visit to Kiyv on February 8, spoke of the European Union's "growing mistrust" of Ukraine because of the Tymoshenko trial.
Compiled from agency reports