Ukraine ex-PM to face murder charges

[JURIST] Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive] will face charges associated with the shooting of a Ukrainian lawmaker, a deputy prosecutor said Monday. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka [official profile] had indicated last month that she may face charges in the 1996 shooting of lawmaker Yevhen Shcherban and his family. The deputy prosecutor told a newspaper on Monday that the office had gathered enough evidence [AP report] to file charges against her. Tymoshenko has already been sentenced to seven years [JURIST report] in prison on corruption charges and is in the middle of a tax evasion trial. Her lawyers in May accused the prosecution of fabricating charges [press release] to keep the former prime minister in prison. European leaders have called for Tymoshenko's release, and many have indicated that they will boycott Ukraine [Reuters report] as it co-hosts the Euro 2012 soccer championships.

Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ended its investigation [JURIST report] into the health care conditions of Tymoshenko, finding that the Ukrainian government provided her with adequate care. She previously alleged that prison guards were beating her [press release, in Ukrainian], and refused to be treated [JURIST report] by prison doctors for back problems, believing they were under the direction of political rival President Viktor Yanukovych. Last month her trial was postponed for the second time [BBC report] at the request of the prosecution after she was again unable to attend due to health issues. The trial was first postponed in April [JURIST report] due to concerns about Tymoshenko's health. Earlier that month Tymoshenko was returned to prison after being sent to a clinic for medical treatment. She is currently appealing a conviction and seven-year prison sentence to the ECHR and has discontinued all appeals [JURIST report] in the Ukraine on that issue. Although her previous conviction was on charges of corruption and abuse of power during her time as prime minister, her current trial is based on allegations of hiding $165 million of corporate revenue and accumulating $5.8 million through tax fraud while the head of the UESU.

 

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