KIEV, June 20 (RAPSI) – The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has put Pechersky District Court Judge Rodion Kireyev on the wanted list, Ukrainian news agency LigaBiznesInform announced on Friday. Kireyev was the judge who pronounced ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko guilty in the well-publicized “gas” case.
Ukraine went through a regime change on February 22, when President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country and Western-backed nationalist activists rose to power in Kiev. The new law enforcement authorities subsequently opened several cases against Yanukovych and other former officials.
On April 14, 2014, Ukraine’s Supreme Court overturned the verdict in Tymoshenko’s case and closed it due to the lack of any formal evidence of a crime.
The Prosecutor General’s Office, which had previously brought charges against Judge Kireyev under seven Criminal Code articles, has petitioned the Supreme Court to issue an arrest warrant.
According to prosecutors, Kireyev “knowingly adopted an unjustified ruling to change Yulia Tymoshenko’s remand order from house arrest to pretrial imprisonment,” “deliberately, grossly and systematically infringed on the defendant’s right to defense, stipulated by Ukrainian legislation,” and ultimately passed an unjust ruling in Tymoshenko’s case.
In 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of power for signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009. In May 2012, she was moved to a Kharkov hospital for health reasons. On February 22, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) decriminalized the articles under which Tymoshenko was sentenced. The ex-prime minister was released the same day.