Court refuses to free Timoshenko for third time in one day

KIEV, August 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Kiev’s Pechersky District Court refused to free former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party leader Yulia Timoshenko for the third time in one day on Monday, August 8.

Presiding Judge Rodion Kireyev turned down Timoshenko’s lawyers’ appeal for replacing arrest with recognizance not to leave Kiev and refused to bail her out against guarantees of prominent scientists, cultural figures and the clergy, including representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Ombudsman Nina Karpacheva and opposition MPs.

Timoshenko’s lawyer said, “This is not the last appeal and there will be a new series of petitions”.

The former prime minister has been held in an investigation prison since August 5.

Kireyev earlier rejected lawyers’ request to drop the criminal charges against Timoshenko.

“Considering the ungrounded nature of the appeal, the court ruled to dismiss it. The ruling is not to be appealed,” the judge said.

The criminal case was opened against Timoshenko for the gas contracts in accordance with part 3 of Article 365 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, which gives the maximum punishment of seven to ten years in prison.

In this case Timoshenko will not be able to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2012 or the presidential election in 2015.

Earlier, First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin said Timoshenko might be put into custody.

Three criminal cases have been opened against Timoshenko and she has given a written pledge not to leave Kiev.

Timoshenko has been reading materials of two criminal cases opened against her for more than two months. The investigator officially asked her to come to the Prosecutor General’s Office on may 19 together with her lawyers for urgent investigative actions in order to complete the investigation into the use of part of proceeds from the sale of greenhouse gas quotas, which were intended for certain purposes, for financing national budget expenditures.

A total of 380 million euros were misused.

Another criminal case concerns the purchase, against the government’s guarantees, and import into Ukraine of allegedly specialised Opel Combo ambulances. The damage from this transaction is estimated at 67 million hryvnia (over eight million U.S. dollars).

Kiev’s district court has confirmed the legitimacy of the criminal case against Timoshenko over gas contracts with Russia made in 2009.

The court rejected Timoshenko’s appeal questioning the legitimacy of the criminal case and confirmed that the Prosecutor General’s Office had acted lawfully by brining criminal charges against her.

Timoshenko was notified on April 13 of a new criminal case opened against her for the gas agreements she had made with Russia in 2009.

Kuzmin said prior to that that new charges of abuse of office when making natural gas supply contracts in 2009 had been brought against Timoshenko.

“The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a criminal case against the ex-premier for abuse of office when making gas contracts in 2009,” he said.

Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office opened two criminal cases against Timoshenko and later combined then into one.

Timoshenko has been charged with misuse of 380 million euros received by Ukraine under the Kyoto Protocol. She may face a prison term of five to ten years. She has been asked to give a written pledge not to leave the city.

Timoshenko claims that the money was used to pay pensions.

On December 20, 2010, the Prosecutor General’s Office said that as prime minister Timoshenko, “acting deliberately and driven by her personal interests,” made the decision to “use a part of the proceeds from the sale of greenhouse emission quotas intended for stated purposes for financing Ukraine’s national budget expenses, primarily pension obligations.”

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Timoshenko’s decision resulted in a loss of 960,000 hryvnia (121,000 U.S. dollars) in the national budget.

Timoshenko denied the misuse of the funds.

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