Punish the evil judges who jailed my mother: Heartbroken New Year plea from daughter of Ukraine's former PM Yulia TymoshenkoYulia Tymoshenko was jailed in 2011 on charges of abuse of officeShe served as Ukraine's prime minister from December 2007 to March 2010 She denies charges accusing
President Yanukovych of orchestrating trialDaughter Eugenia says West must put sanctions on judges and prosecutors
17:53 GMT, 27 December 2012
The daughter of jailed former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko has urged Western nations to impose sanctions on officials involved in her mother's imprisonment.
Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abuse of office after a trial that was condemned by the West as politically motivated and which strained Ukraine's ties to Europe and the United States.
Tymoshenko denies the charges and accuses President Viktor Yanukovych, her longtime foe, of orchestrating the trial to bar her from politics.
Sanctions: Eugenia Tymoshenko, left, said judges who jailed her mother, Yulia, right, for seven years should be punished with sanctions, claiming the former premier's trial was politically motivated
With Tymoshenko in jail, Ukraine's fragmented opposition forces were unable to muster a majority in parliament following an election in October, and Yanukovych's allies again control the legislature and the government.
But in an interview on Thursday, Tymoshenko's daughter Eugenia, 32, said prosecutors and judges involved in her mother's case should face Western sanctions such as travel bans and freezes on bank accounts.
The trial: Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko speaks at her trial as her daughter Eugenia holds her hand at the City districts court in Kiev, Ukraine in October 2011
Brought down: Supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko carry her during a huge rally in Indepedence Square in Kiev in 2005. But she was later jailed accused of abusing her office
Plot claims: Tymoshenko denies the charges and accuses President Viktor Yanukovych (pictured), her longtime foe, of orchestrating the trial to bar her from politics
'We understand that we cannot do it
by ourselves inside Ukraine and that is why we need great international
support, but also (an) understanding of our international friends that
Yanukovych will not just voluntarily give up his power,' Eugenia
Tymoshenko said in her mother's office in central Kiev.
SYMBOL OF REPRESSION: HOW YULIA TYMOSHENKO CONTINUES TO FIGHT FROM HER PRISON CELL
With her trademark blonde plaits and fiery rhetoric, Yulia Tymoshenko became the glamorous heroine of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution – before being jailed by the man she ousted.
Mrs Tymoshenko became Prime Minister after the 2004 revolution to rapturous public acclaim. It seemed Ukraine was finally set to throw off the shackles of its Soviet past and embrace democracy.
Today, however, the defiant 52-year-old – who refers to her distinctive plaits as her ‘chain armour’ that ‘protects me from threats’ – has become a symbol of the repression of freedom.
Suffering from a back condition, she languishes in a shared room in a prison hospital in the city of Kharkiv (pictured above), where she is serving seven years for abusing her prime ministerial power.
Despite the fact that she cannot walk unaided, she is under constant armed guard with video and audio surveillance – testimony that she is still considered a major threat as a figurehead for Ukraine’s opposition.
Her conviction has been criticised by the European Union as politically motivated persecution and also condemned by the Danish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.
Meanwhile, she faces further charges of tax evasion relating to her time as head of a private energy company in the Nineties and prosecutors say they have enough evidence to indict her for involvement in the murder of former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Scherban in 1996.
Her lawyers argue that the authorities want her to remain in jail for the rest of her life.
'People like judges, like prosecutors
… they have to be put forward for sanctions. Those are the main
executors of repression.
'Of course, there are people behind them who are in the ruling party, but it could be the first step.'
The European Union suspended a key cooperation deal with Kiev over the Yulia Tymoshenko case.
But the visa cancellation followed efforts by Kuzmin to question U.S.-based witnesses in a nearly 15-year-old murder case in Ukraine in which Kuzmin claims Yulia Tymoshenko is implicated. She denies all the accusations.
Her daughter also exhorted the
international community to investigate and prosecute alleged instances
of 'international corruption' involving Ukrainian officials in the West.
For instance, Yulia
Tymoshenko has petitioned American authorities to investigate how
Ukraine's Justice Ministry commissioned a top U.S. law firm to analyze
her trial for what Ukraine's government says was a mere $12,000
lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko has said that such a report must have cost well
over $1.5 million and accused Yanukovych's allies of paying for it
by the New York-based firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
claims that there is not sufficient evidence that Tymoshenko was
prosecuted for political reasons, though it finds numerous flaws in her
The law firm has not
commented on its fee for the report, which was dated September but not
made public until earlier this month.
Tymoshenko has been in prison for about a year and a half, but Eugenia
Tymoshenko expressed hope that Western pressure could eventually free
her mother so that she could run against Yanukovych in the 2015
main task was to keep my mother in prison for the elections in 2015,'
Eugenia Tymoshenko said. 'It (takes) great responsibility and great
power and energy to stop this train that's been going on the reverse
side for Ukraine — away from democratic, European values.'