None of ministers spoke against gas agts with Russia in 2009 – party leader

KIEV, August 10 (Itar-Tass) —— None of the ministers spoke against the gas agreements with Russia in 2009, opposition Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party deputy chairman Alexander Turchinov said.

He was questioned in court as a witness in the “gas case” of former Prime Minister and Batkivshchina leader Yulia Timoshenko on Wednesday, August 10.

He recalled that after the signing of the agreements, Timoshenko briefed members of the government on the results of the talks with Russia.

“The government approved the agreements reached in Moscow,” Turchinov said.

He also urged Timoshenko’s supporters to stay in the streets. “I urge everyone to stay on during the night. The trial will resume tomorrow at 10,” he said.

According to police, about 900 people rallied in front of Kiev’s Pechersky’s District Court during the day.

The opposition demanded that the court let Timoshenko go and drop the case against her.

However Presiding Judge Rodion Kireyev rejected the demands. He said his ruling was final and not subject to appeal.

Kireyev referred to the absence of reasons for overruling the previous court judgment and adjourned the hearings till 11:00 Moscow time August 11.

Timoshenko is facing charges of abuse of office while making gas agreements with Russia in 2009.

The prosecution has accused Timoshenko of acting in excess of his powers and giving directives for signing a gas contract with Russia in 2009 without the government’s consent. As a result, gas prices in Ukraine increased, but the tariff for transit, pegged to the price of gas, did not change, which caused damage to the budget in the amount of about 200 million U.S. dollars.

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