U.S. court orders Tymoshenko to report on notifying defendants in RosUkrEnergo case
MOSCOW, April 3 - RAPSI. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has ordered the lawyers of former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who filed a lawsuit against RosUkrEnergo and its owner Dmitry Firtash, to report on the notification of the defendants by April 20.
Most of the defendants ignored the summons to the first hearing scheduled for March 30.
A source said the judge obligated the plaintiffs to submit a written report on their progress in notifying the defendants by April 20.
During the first hearing, one of the lawyers filed a petition to dismiss the lawsuit, as it does not fall within the U.S. court's jurisdiction. The source noted that if the other defendants follow his example and lodge a similar petition, they will have to do so no later than April 27.
The lawsuit against RosUkrEnergo was filed on behalf of Tymoshenko, the people of Ukraine and a group of opposition politicians kept under detention or prosecuted by the investigative authorities. According to the plaintiffs, powerful circles in Ukraine have established complex money laundering scheme abroad and a bribery scheme to bribe Ukrainian officials.
The plaintiffs maintain that the authorities persecute anyone who stands in its path.
Tymoshenko earlier extended the list of defendants in her lawsuit against RosUkrEnergo and Firtash. It now includes Fuel and Energy Minister Yuri Boyko, head of the security service Valery Khoroshovski and Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka.
The list also names Semyon Mogilevich, whom the FBI has been hunting for years, Paul Manafort, President Viktor Yanukovych's political consultant, First Deputy General Prosecutor Renat Kuzmin, and prosecutor Lilya Frolova, who represents the prosecution in the trial against Tymoshenko.
The plaintiffs accuse them of corruption, fraud and human rights violations.
Tymoshenko's lawsuit centers on a 2009 gas conflict after negotiations stalled between Kiev and Moscow on gas supplies to Ukraine and gas transit to Europe.
In the absence of a supply contract, Russia stopped supplying gas to Ukraine and then to Europe as Kiev started siphoning off gas for its own needs.
Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz refused mediators' services, particularly RosUkrEnergo, which eventually contested the ownership of 11 billion cubic meters of gas in the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal.
Tymoshenko believes that yielding to Firtash's pressure, the tribunal obligated Naftogaz to return to RosUkrEnergo the gas taken in January 2009.