New charges against Yulia Tymoshenko

October 14th, 2011   Articles | Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities recently issued signals about the fate of the imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as President Viktor Yanukovych hinted that she might be released following a legal reform. However, the Ukrainian Security Service is now filing new corruption charges against her.

Two days after Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) launched a new criminal case, suspecting the former prime minister and current opposition leader of attempting to embezzle $405 million in government funds. This she should have done in cooperation with a government member while heading the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU), the country’s largest power company, in the mid-1990s.

The surprising charges relate to a period when Ukrainians saw their country wracked by post-Soviet lawlessness, including peculiar business dealings.

According to the Security Service, Yulia Tymoshenko is officially accused of conspiracy, as former president and owner of the UESU when the company’s liabilities of $405 million was taken over by the Ukrainian Government . This also makes the former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko involved in the allegations.

The new criminal case was opened following complaints by the current Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Russia’s Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

On October 11, the Pecherski District Court in Kiev sentenced Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years imprisonment and a fine of $188 million. Tymoshenko was also banned from holding public office for three years.

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