‘Pardon for Ukrainian ex-PM Tymoshenko is premature’ – Pardon Commission

Ukraine's presidential pardon commission has turned down jailed former PM Yulia Tymoshenko's pardon request ruling that the issue “is premature”. Sentenced to seven years in prison for power abuse, Tymoshenko is also being investigated in a murder case.

The Commission has advised President Viktor Yanukovych not to pardon Tymoshenko, the Deputy Prosecutor General said.

"During the session, the Commission has decided that because the investigation of the criminal cases, in which Tymoshenko is accused of grievous and extremely grievous crimes, hasn’t yet been completed… the question of her pardon is premature," a statement on the Ukrainian president’s website said.

Her defense team branded the charges as nonsense.

“The testimonies of the so-called witnesses are nothing concrete. They all refer to what they were told by other people, who died or were killed 10-15 years ago,” Sergey Vlasenko, Tymoshenko’s lawyer told RT. “This case was made up by the ruling elite when they understood that the gas case against Tymoshenko was falling apart.”

The ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was arrested and then jailed in October 2011 for abusing the powers of her office, most notably in the 2009 gas import deal she signed with Russia. Tymoshenko was also ordered to pay $190 million in fines. The former prime minister also faces charges of tax evasion from when she headed gas trader United Energy Systems in the 1990s.

For more details on this watch RT's Alexey Yaroshevsky’s report from Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev.