Earlier today, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was arrested in court and subsequently transported to Lukyanivska prison for detention. Ms. Tymoshenko is defending herself against allegations which have been widely perceived as politically motivated by the international community.
Ms. Tymoshenko was arrested after the presiding judge denied the former Prime Minister’s motions to question key witneses and to adjourn the hearings to give the defense additional time to prepare for the hearings.
“Today’s arrest of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister and main opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, during her trial, which is widely viewed as politically motivated, is a major step backwards for the government of Ukraine. Given that Ukraine is representing Europe as Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe until November 2011, co-host of EURO 2012, and Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2013, it is critical for Ukraine’s government to release Ms. Tymoshenko immediately, to comply with its international commitments, and to refrain from using criminal proceedings as a means to achieving political ends,” stated Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij.
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