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Germany slams Ukraine for political crackdown

Published: 13 Apr 2012 10:55 GMT+02:00

The chances of her being brought to Berlin for medical treatment for severe back problems would appear slim, despite the recommendation of a doctor at the Charité hospital who visited her.

Markus Löning told reporters after returning to Berlin that the jail sentences imposed on Tymoshenko and former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko smacked of a "major settling of scores with ex-members of the government".

Löning called their imprisonment "unacceptable and inhumane", accused Ukrainian authorities of withholding key medical information and treatment from them, and urged their immediate release.

He said he had met during his three-day stay with Tymoshenko's daughter, relatives of the convicted former environment minister Georgiy Filipchuk and Lutsenko, who he said had long not been told he had hepatitis and was denied treatment.

He also spoke with former defence minister Valeriy Ivashchenko, who Thursday became the third minister in the pro-Western cabinet of Tymoshenko to be jailed in the two years since her presidential rival Viktor Yanukovych took office.

Ivashchenko was sentenced to five years in prison on abuse of office charges, which Löning called "fabricated allegations".

Tymoshenko has condemned the convictions as part of a vendetta by the new government against her and her allies. The cases have also stalled the ex-Soviet republic's drive to one day join the European Union.

The former Orange Revolution leader Tymoshenko herself was sentenced to seven years in jail in October for signing a 2009 natural gas agreement with Russia that allegedly cost Ukraine about $200 million.

Prosecutors have since extended the charge sheet against her to include alleged earlier crimes and she faces a new trial for embezzlement and tax fraud next week.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:39 April 13, 2012 by raandy
Little has changed from the elections in Russia to the corruption and crack downs east of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line.
12:24 April 13, 2012 by jg.
I suppose when you help pay for a revolution to install candidates chosen by Western politicians, it is terrible that the electorate has the bad manners to elect (again) the very same people you had removed.

Now a court has finally looked into just how the "Gas Princess" came to control the entire wholesale gas market in Ukraine in the 1990s and how she amassed a personal fortune reputed to be in excess of 3 billion US dollars, all whilst whilst working for Kuchma's government. Her husband has now successfully claimed asylum in the Czech Republic and is denying reports that they have owned property there for some years - Ukrainian authorities believe he has helped hide some of the money missing (and owed to the Ukrainian government) following the collapse of one of her companies.

It is interesting that Western governments didn't comment on the "election observers" who were flown into Donetsk just before the presidential elections on a flight chartered by one of Tymoshenko's companies. All the people on the flight turned out to be officers of the Georgian interior police but they all claimed to be visiting girlfriends in the region. Ukrainian authorities told them not interfere in the elections but some were later arrested for attempting to tamper with ballot boxes and for fighting with police and officials at polling stations.

If Tymoshenko comes to Germany for treatment, she will apply for asylum and join her husband and their ill-gotten gains. It seems likely that Western governments will then try to push her back into power in Ukraine.
13:25 April 13, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
@jg - It has been evident even to (most of) those of us in the West that Tymoshenko is just a Western puppet. As Westerners this is not particularly bothersome to us but most of us understand why people in Ukraine might not be so accepting. It is rather like Vlad Putin. We Westerners would rather have someone less competent running Russia so of course his approval rating in the West is much lower than in Russia where people recognize he is working for the best interests of Russia LOL.

Just imagine if there was a German party where the leader was a proven flunky of Moscow - how well that would be received in Germany LOL
13:45 April 13, 2012 by yourkeau
It would be fun to know that Russian government pays people to make comments on TheLocal. If this is not the case, you guys should stop watching Russia Today. You have no idea what I dictatorship is and you are so lucky not to have it experienced.

As for Frau Tymoshenko: thousands of ordinary people in Ukraine are jailed without a right for fair trial. Do you know, that Ukrainian police succeed in investigating of more than 80% of crimes (while European average is about 30% or less)? But EU don't bother with this, they only care about Frau Tymoshenko. Of course, her trial is fake, because justice in Western sense doesn't exist in Ukraine, it is like it was in Middle Ages.
14:02 April 13, 2012 by murka
Poor poor Mr Lutsenko. Previously in The Local:

Drunk Ukrainian politician detained at Frankfurt airport

http://www.thelocal.de/society/20090506-19101.html

"¦quot;It was a big scene,¦quot; a witness told Bild, which reported the two shouted and threw their mobile phones as police arrived. ... Lutsenko then demanded that German officials apologise to him, refusing to leave a detention area through the front door. "
14:52 April 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Oh gosh... not another pronouncement from Germany that something is "unacceptable." Words, words, words...

David the Norsemen - A german party leader who is a flunky of Moscow? How about Schroeder and his gas deal? DOes that count, sort of?
15:35 April 13, 2012 by Sayer
Until Germany allows scientific investigations into, and open debate on the events of 1939 - 1945 it has no business telling any other nation what to do. None. You cannot legislate secrecy and taboos in Germany and then demand that openness and dissent be permitted in Ukraine.
16:34 April 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Sayer - what else is there to investigate from Germany and WW2?
21:33 April 13, 2012 by Sayer
Scientific research of the events in the "camps" is prohibited under German law. Validation and call it CSI-type verification of the "eye-witness accounts" is legally prohibited in Germany, and many other countries. I'm not talking about letting a bunch of deniers loose using pseudo-science. I'm talking about peer-reviewed scientific investigation. Even to suggest it may be illegal, so I'll stop here.

Truth needs no law to support it. Open the entire field to solid scientific independent investigation. Surely the victims deserve the truth?
18:25 April 14, 2012 by raandy
Sayer, there is merit to your thinking. At the end of the war the Soviets cut off all information from their occupied lands.The killing of Jews and other undesirables by both the Nazis and Soviets in the East was not let out and remained behind the Iron Curtain until the collapse of the USSR.

What the Americans and British saw was nothing in comparison to what the Soviets saw as all the killing was east of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line in what has now been referred to as the Blood Lands. The book by Timothy Snyder called "The Blood Lands Europe between Hitler and Stalin brings out all that was hidden for so many years, quite shocking.
23:27 April 14, 2012 by Sayer
What I would also like to see is an accounting of German POW deaths, as well as civilian deaths by starvation enforced by the Allied (particularly US) victors from 1945-48. They exceed the (still scientifically unverifiable*) 6mil total deaths from all of the other camps combined. *ICRC numbers of the day, ethniciities non-specific. C'mon, folks, do a little digging.
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