Minister of State Hoyer on Ukraine: Penal law is an inappropriate instrument in political competition

22.11.2011 - Press release

Following her conviction and the prison sentence passed against her, other legal proceedings have been initiated against former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

According to the Ukrainian Parliament Human Rights Commissioner, Nina Karpachova, the state of her health is worrying.

Minister of State Werner Hoyer issued the following statement today:

“Regrettably, the new criminal proceedings against Yulia Tymoshenko reinforce the impression that this is politically motivated justice. The German Government is observing the proceedings against former members of the regime very closely.
EU representatives must be granted access to Yulia Tymoshenko and the other imprisoned Ukrainian opposition politicians. She must receive the medical treatment she needs.
The German Government’s expectation of Ukraine is crystal-clear: Ukraine must ensure a fair and due process of law. Democracy means that political differences are resolved via political competition. Penal law has no place in this.
Establishing democracy and the rule of law is a crucial criterion for deeper relations between Ukraine and the European Union.”

The Ukrainian public prosecutor’s office charged Yulia Tymoshenko with, among other things, tax fraud on 10 November. Moreover, she is being investigated in connection with various other matters.

On 11 October, Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced by the court of first instance to seven years’ imprisonment for abuse of office and payment of a large sum in “damages”, and banned from holding public offices.

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