PACE. Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), who is preparing a report on “Keeping political and criminal responsibility separate” for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has said that it is urgent to address the status of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko as ‘political prisoners’ within the meaning of the definition adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly in October 2012.

Mr Omtzigt was speaking at the end of a three-day information visit to Ukraine (19-21 February 2013), during which he met Mr Lutsenko in prison.

“I should like to recall that the Assembly, in Resolution 1862 (2012), has already called on the President of Ukraine to consider all legal means available for him to release Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Lutsenko, and indicated that if these demands were not met it could consider possible sanctions,” said Mr Omtzigt.

“Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights has found that the arrest of Mr Lutsenko violated the European Convention on Human Rights on numerous counts, including a finding that there were other than legal motives for his arrest. This judgment, in my view, shows that law enforcement in Ukraine is unfair and urgently needs an overhaul,” he added.

“The democratic forces in Ukraine place their hopes in the principles upheld by the Council of Europe, and I will do my very best to ensure that we will not let them down,” concluded the rapporteur, indicating that he intended to present his final report as soon as possible.

As well as meeting Mr Lutsenko, Mr Omtzigt also met with numerous parliamentarians from pro-government and opposition parties, Ukraine’s Justice Minister, a Deputy Prosecutor General, and the legal representatives of Mr Lutsenko and Ms Tymoshenko.

In May 2012 Mr Omtzigt also visited Iceland in the framework of his report, where he considered the situation of former Prime Minister Geir Haarde, indicted for his role in Iceland’s financial crisis.

 Resolution 1900 (2012)

 Resolution 1862 (2012)

 Memorandum on the case of Geir Haarde

Ukrayinska Dumka


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