Tymoshenko Has Only One Day to Prepare Defense
Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister of Ukraine, has been given by the Kiev district court only one day to prepare her defense in court. During the trial session on Wednesday, Tymoskenko demanded that she be allowed to prepare the case until Monday, August 22. Judge Rodion Kireyev, the same judge who held her in contempt two weeks ago, when she first appeared in court, allowed her until Thursday afternoon to familiarize with the testimonies of those who were summoned to testify.
Earlier on Wednesday, former president Viktor Yushchenko, the ally of Tymoshenko during the Orange Revolution that brought them both to power in 2004 and was over by the victory of Viktor Yanukovych in 2010, testified against his former ally.
In his testimony, Yushchenko, who had a lot of arguments with the prime minister during the mandate they had, accused her of wanting to maintain the Russian energetic yoke on the Ukrainian people.
He said that the former prime minister refused to cut a deal with Russia for $250 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas and accepted to cut a deal of $450 per 1,000 cubic meters.
He added that he had asked his prime minister not to attend the Moscow gas summit in 2009, and that she agreed, but that she later went on and cut a deal for $450. Russians offered a 20% discount, which brought the price down to $360 per cubic meter.
Yushchenko said that he was shocked to hear that, as he was expecting the Russians to sell the gas for no more than $100 per cubic meter.
The former president added that Ukraine had 24 billion cubic meters in stock and the acquisition of more gas was not a priority.
Yushchenko said in court he had not been informed by his prime minister of the outcome of the Russian deal in 2009, but he received the content of the deal cut by Tymoshenko from an anonymous source, which, if proven true, sheds a very bright light on the reasons why Orange Revolution was such a fiasco.
Yushchenko, who was called a traitor by Tymoshenko’s supporters in the streets of Kiev, told the judge that the truth could not be established about what happened in 2009 unless Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller are summoned to testify in Tymoshenko’s trial.
Yulia Tymoshenko maintains that she was innocent of the accusations brought against her and that she was the victim of political revenge, and of a smear campaign intended to have her removed from the next elections. She said that by the contract in 2009, she saved Ukraine and Europe, by resuming the distribution of natural gas that had been stopped by Russia’s Gazprom.
The former prime minister is in jail after she was held in contempt of the court by the same judge Rodion Kireyev, after she refused to stand up as the judge entered the courtroom, and continuously slammed the judge with insults such as “puppet into the hands of Yanukovych,” and “the honor must be deserved,” when she was asked to address the judge with “Your Honor.”
An appeal court upheld the decision of the judge, and last week Tymoshenko was also denied the right to attack the detention sentence in court. The judge explained that provisional detention is not subject of criminal law.
If found guilty, Tymoshenko faces up to ten years in prison, and that would bar her way to a political career even in case she received a suspended sentence. The trial is to be resumed on Thursday.11