Council of Europe slams Tymoshenko verdict

11th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Council of Europe on Tuesday criticised the conviction of Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, saying political disputes should not be resolved in court.

"In a democracy, judgement about political decisions should be left to the parliament and to voters, not to courts," the council's Secretary General Thorbjoern Jagland said.

Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail for abusing her powers in a 2009 gas deal with Russia, a verdict that is expected to harm Ukraine's ties with the European Union, which Kiev wants to join.

Tymoshenko insists that the case is a vendetta pursued by President Viktor Yanukovych to eliminate her from politics after their close contest in 2010 presidential elections.

© 2011 AFP

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