Kiev court issues repeat summons for former president

KIEV, August 16 (Itar-Tass) — Kiev’s Pechersky district court on Tuesday issued a repeat summons for former President Viktor Yushchenko as witness at the next hearing, where the “gas case” against former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko will be reviewed, judge Rodion Kireyev said.

Earlier, prosecutors noted that the arguments stated by Yushchenko’s representatives — that he is unable to attend because he is on holiday — were not a sound reason.

The prosecutors then urged the court to issue a repeat summons for Yushchenko. Timoshenko’s lawyers, too, called for questioning the former president at the hearing.

Judge Kireyev changed an inquest procedure and began to read the testimony of the witnesses given during pre-trial investigation, who were unable to turn up at the Pechersky district court on Tuesday for valid reasons.

According to statements from three witnesses, including former Finance Minister Viktor Pinzenik, he is in an IT ward at the Feofania Hospital with acute myocardial infarction. Yushchenko, in his statement, confirmed all his testimony given at a court session.

But Prosecutor Liliya Frolova believes Yushchenko should be questioned as witness in the “gas case” against the former premier.

“I believe Yushchenko should be summoned to the court,” Frolova stated.

When asked if Yushchenko’s appearance at the trial could be enforced, if he continued to refuse, Frolova replied: “the court will put up the issue for discussion, and if the witness refuses to appear in court without valid reasons, the court has the right to use attachment.”

Timoshenko’s lawyer Yuri Sukhov does not rule out that the Pechersky’s court might enforce Yushchenko’s questioning in court. However, he was critical of the procedure on the Timoshenko’s case.

Sukhov asked judge Kireyev to secure the normal work of the lawyers with the former prime minister.

He noted that in the past few weeks, the defense had had no opportunity for normal work with their client. They could not always access the Lukyanovsky remand prison for meetings with her. The former prime minister is awakened at 06:00, every day, and brought back to the remand prison at 22:000, so she has no opportunity to prepare for the hearings.

Up to ten personnel of the Grifon unit were providing for law and order at the Tuesday session.

Timoshenko’s daughter – Eugenia Carr – was present. But her lawyer Nikolai Siry and husband Alexander Timoshenko were missing.

Timoshenko was convoyed to the Pechersky court at 08:45, on Tuesday.

Unofficial reports said Yushchenko returned from holiday on August 15. On August 5, his press secretary Irina Vannikova said he would testify within the Timoshenko case after returning from abroad.

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