Legal proceedings against Yuliya Tymoshenko have today been deferred until the middle of July. Read the BBC report in Ukrainian here and in English here.

A second trial, for tax evasion, has been deferred to 10 July, while the appeal against her 7 year sentence for exceeding her powers as Prime Minister in signing a gas deal with Russia in 2009 has been deferred to 12 July. Prosecutors said that the delay was for medical reports to establish whether Mrs Tymoshenko was fit to be moved from the Kharkiv clinic where she is receiving treatment. Mrs Tymoshenko's lawyers say that continued delays are designed to keep her out of the October elections and to hamper the work of the European Court of Human Rights, which will deal with her case once legal proceedings in Ukraine have ended.

Mrs Tymoshenko had already written to the court excusing herself from attending on the grounds of poor health. She was visited last week by Dr Karl Max Einholp of the German clinic 'Charitas' which is overseeing her medical care, who advised that she should not be moved from the clinic as this would jeopardise the improvement in her health from the treatment she has been receiving. Even so, the court said that they wanted a report from their own medical experts.

The Economist calls this a PR blunder and says that not even the problem-free Euro 2012 championships will divert attention away from widespread concerns about selective justice. Unian reports comments by Werner Schultz, German MEP, that today's events show that nothing has changed in Ukraine in spite of the increased focus on 'political repression'. He also said that at a time when President Yanukovych is delaying in the hope that the world will turn its attention away from Ukraine, Euopean politicians had a responsibility to ensure he failed. Mr Schultz believes that, politicians who decide to attend the remaining Euro 2012 matches in Ukraine should use the opportunity to protest directly against the politically-motivated legal processes being used against the opposition.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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