Timoshenko refuses to testify until studies all case files

KIEV, August 31 (Itar-Tass) — Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko declined to testify in Kiev’s Pechersky District Court on Wednesday, August 31, and said she would do so only after she had studied all of her case files.

“I will give all explanations after I have studied all the materials, after the witnesses we have mentioned in our appeals have been questioned and after all experts for the prosecution and the defence gave given their testimonies,” Timoshenko said.

“I do not want you to interpret it as if the defendant has refused to testify. I am just saying when I will be ready to give explanations,” she added.

Timoshenko also stressed that the prosecutors “are depriving the court of objectivity, trying to keep erroneous forensic medicine conclusions”.

“The Prosecutor’s Office is systemically against the documents that clearly indicate the incompetence, partiality and absurdity of the examinations to which they refer,” she said.

Her lawyer made the 14th attempt to get Timoshenko released from custody against a deposit.

Timoshenko said her trial has gone beyond her personality. “What is happening in court today no longer concerns me personally, you or [Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovich. It concerns the future of our state, Ukraine’s European strategy and European prospects,” she said.

She reminded Presiding Judge Rodion Kireyev of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski’s statement that this trial might upset the signing of an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.

“It will be a Pyrrhic victory for the country. So I urge you to cancel the unlawful arrest warrant that you issued without grounds,” Timoshenko said, addressing Kireyev.

He refused to release Timoshenko from custody, said no deposit would be possible and adjourned the trial till September 1.

The judge finished reading the Timoshenko case files. After the ex-premier has spoken, the prosecution and the defence will question her. After that debates will follow.

Before the court makes the verdict, Timoshenko will be allowed to make her final statement.

Experts say that the “gas case” is far from being solved.

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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