Now there is a strong rumour that the powers that be in Kyiv have stated through diplomatic channels they will abide by any ECfHR rulings in relation to those opposition members incarcerated as I have mentioned before.
First up will be the case of Yuri Lutsenko who’s case (Lutsenko v Ukraine 6492/11) goes before the court on 17th April, just under a month from now.
Given the nefariousness and underhandedness of Ukrainian politicians of all parties, as always it is probably better not to speculate upon whether he is actually guilty, and better to concentrate on the issues that such trials, albeit they may meet Ukrainian norms, do not meet the standards of the international community. Thus due process and not guilt is subject to scrutiny in this case, (and other pending politicians appeals), as far as the ECfHR is concerned.
That said, the length of sentence handed out, even if he is as guilty as sin, seems excessive in comparison to the shenanigans that occur amongst the political elite on an almost daily basis across the entire political spectrum.
Given that his appeal to the ECfHR was made on 21st January 2011 it will have taken just a few days short of 15 months for proceedings to begin. Quite how long it will be before there is any formal and final ruling remains to be seen.
Equally, just how quickly Ukraine will abide by any such ruling is an unknown.
It is fair to say that many sovereign states are not exactly swift at implementing ECfHR rulings when they are delivered and the result goes against the State.
Considering the time frames, even with Ms Tymoshenko on the ECfHR fast track system, it seems unlikely she will be taking part in elections in October as even if she is freed by that time, as one has to suspect she will miss any candidates registration date limitations. For the sake of opposition unity, that may well turn out to be a blessing however.
Anyway, Lutsenko v Ukraine gets an airing with effect from 17th April at the ECfHR and it will be interesting to see what happens and how quickly from there on.