Saturday, 13 August 2011

Germany Upbraids Ukraine Over Arrest Of Former Prime Minister Tymoshenko

KIEV, Ukraine -- The German government criticized Ukraine for the arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the treatment of members of her government, saying it will watch events in the former Soviet republic “very closely.”
Germany’s commissioner for human rights, Markus Loening, warned the Ukraine that the arrest and charges against the former premier, which include alleged obstruction of justice and excessive payments for Russian natural gas in 2009, call into question the country’s pledge to observe the rule of law.

“It is regrettable that the many trials against members of the previous government take on the appearance of selective and politically motivated justice,” Loening said in a statement distributed by the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin today. “The arrest of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister and current opposition leader, has only bolstered this appearance.”

A Ukrainian court today declined to hear Tymoshenko’s appeal challenging her arrest, a week after she was detained.

The District Court in Kiev ruled she had violated court procedure and sought to obstruct a trial in which prosecutors allege she abused her power and agreed to pay too much to buy Russian natural gas in 2009.

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