EU pressures Ukraine to address its 'selective justice' with regard to Tymoshenko
BRUSSELS, April 8 - RAPSI. EU officials have urged Ukraine to consider what they believe was a case of 'selective justice' with regard to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, after former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko was officially pardoned on Sunday.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Stefan Fuele, the EU's Enlargement Commissioner, said Lutsenko's pardoning was "a first but important step to deal with selective justice" and urged Ukraine to prevent any repeat of selective justice cases.
On Sunday Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovich pardoned six convicts, including Lutsenko, who was serving a four year prison sentence for misappropriation of state funds. He was released on the same day.
Ukraine hopes to sign an Association Agreement with the EU this year, which would create a free trade zone. EU has repeatedly asked Ukraine to free Tymoshenko and Lutsenko, stating that the future of the deal would depend on it.
A Kiev district court sentenced Tymoshenko in October 2011 to seven years in prison for abuse of power in signing gas contracts between Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom in 2009.