Authorities made legal mistakes in Tymoshenko case - European commissioner
KIEV, February 15 - RAPSI. European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule Stefan Fule believes the Ukrainian authorities have made legal mistakes in the case against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of power in signing gas contracts between Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom in 2009. She is now serving her term in a Kharkiv prison.
"I think we can say that we think something is wrong with that the case against Yulia Tymoshenko. To put someone in prison for exercising political responsibility based on two articles of the criminal code, which found its roots in 1960 Soviet legislation," Fule told the Euronews TV channel.
He added that the Ukrainian government has a lot to do before signing and ratifying an association agreement with the EU.
Tymoshenko's website quotes Fule as saying: "We also made it very clear that for that agreement to be signed and ratified, the political conditions need to be right. Ukraine must deliver on the values that are the basis of our relationship, which are very much reflected in that association agreement. Misusing the judiciary for political purposes, as in the case of the former prime minister and a number of former politicians, is a sign of the weak rule of law in Ukraine."
Ukraine and the EU finished their negotiations on the association agreement in late 2011. However, its signing was delayed due to Tymoshenko's conviction for abuse of power. The West thinks her prosecution is politically driven. However, the authorities deny the allegations.