Ukraine court further postpones tax evasion trial of former PM due to health

[JURIST] A Ukraine judge on Monday again postponed the tax evasion trial of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive]. Judge Kostyantyn Sadovsky for the court in the city of Kharkiv held [Reuters report] that it would be impossible to proceed with the trial when Tymoshenko is absent. Tymoshenko is being treated at a state-run hospital for back problems and has alleged that her health condition has not improved sufficiently to allow her to attend the hearings. The court had postponed [JURIST report] the tax evasion trial against the former prime minister earlier this month until court-appointed doctors could complete an examination of Tymoshenko to determine she is fit to stand trial. The adjournment came few weeks after Tymoshenko was ordered [JURIST report] to be seen by a court-appointed doctor amid her failure to appear before the court for the tax evasion trial. One of the doctors treating Tymoshenko had expressed the opinion that the former prime minister would most likely not be able to attend the court proceedings. The tax evasion trial began in April but was initially delayed [JURIST reports] for health issues. The judge postponed the trial to July 31.

Earlier this month, a Ukrainian appeals court postponed [JURIST report] the appeal hearing challenging Tymoshenko's corruption conviction and seven-year sentence. This marked the third postponement in the case. The case was last postponed in June [JURIST report]. The new date was set to August 16 following the request of the prosecution. In April Tymoshenko returned [JURIST report] to prison after being sent to a clinic for medical treatment. A month earlier the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] urged [JURIST report] the Ukrainian government to ensure that the former prime minister would receive adequate medical treatment. Although Tymoshenko has previously indicated that she would discontinue all appeals in Ukrainian courts [JURIST report], she is required to exhaust all national options before appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website].

 

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