Timoshenko warns that new revolution in Ukraine is a matter of time

LONDON, August 15 (Itar-Tass) —— A new revolution in Ukraine is a matter of time, ex-Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party leader Yulia Timoshenko said.

“History has shown us that authoritarian regimes do not endure and I believe that the values of the Orange Revolution are as relevant today as they were in December 2004,” Timoshenko, who was handed questions from The Independent through her lawyers, and answered in writing from her prison cell. “Sooner or later the oppressed people of this nation will arise.”

According to Timoshenko, the biggest challenge of her incarceration is that she can no longer use Twitter. She had live tweeted from court hearings via an iPad.

She shares a cell with two other female inmates. The cell is said to be furnished with a TV and a fridge.

“Conditions are spartan and it is never pleasant to have your liberty taken from you but I will not complain about my lot,” Timoshenko wrote.

Timoshenko told EUobserver last week that she was fearing for her life in Ukrainian prison.

“Of course I do. I am aware of the Stalinist saying that you get rid of the man, you get rid of the problem. There have been too many ‘accidents’ in the past,” Timoshenko said in a written statement sent to EUobserver when asked if she feared for her personal safety in prison.

She also told the website that she did not recognise the legitimacy of this court. “This is a show trial where the verdict has been written in advance,” Timoshenko said.

The statement was sent to EUobserver on August 12, before a session of Kiev’s Court of Appeals that rejected her lawyers’ petition for bail.

Earlier, Kiev’s Pechersky District Court rejected lawyers’ appeal for letting their defendant in exchange for her written pledge to stay in town.

Presiding Judge Rodion Kireyev said his ruling was final and not subject to appeal.

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.

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.

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

One concerns 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).

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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