Archive for April 26th, 2013


An aligning of the planets? Tymoshenko

April 26, 2013

Recently I seem to have mentioned the circus that is and surrounds Yulia Tymoshenko far more than normal.

That is perhaps understandable given some EU leaders insistence upon her release to guarantee the signing of the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement in November at the Vilnius Summit.  Other EU leaders would prefer to march on and sign the agreement whether she be free or not.  A not uncommon state division over policy EU foreign policy affairs it has to be said.

A few days ago, I wrote about the prospects of a Tymoshenko release after the official recognition of an all female MP plea, during the Orthodox Easter and why such timing would be no bad thing.

As I wrote, that petition was sent to the Pardons Committee.

Since then Prime Minister Azarov has stated that her pardoning cannot occur until all pending court cases have been heard – which is completely untrue.  She can of course be pardoned for those offences of which she has been found guilty already – albeit other cases in the judicial arena are bound to carry on until guilt or innocence is found.

For Prime Minister Azarov, it make make bureaucratic sense for all her pending cases to come to whatever conclusion they may prior to any pardoning – but that is not how the rule of law, Pardons Committee nor human rights work.  More to the point, the Prime Minister does not consider or grant pardons and therefore his opinion should be seen only as that – despite his position.

The system indeed allows for her to be pardoned at any time for the offences she has been found guilty of – regardless of any pending legal proceedings despite what Mr Azarov states.

In fact, the Pardons Committee is due to consider the aforementioned all female MP plea on 29th April, and following on from yesterday’s entry where I pondered just how fast ECfHR fast-tracked cases actually move, I now discover that the ECfHR ruling is supposedly due on 30th April – giving Ukraine the opportunity to grant her pardon prior to what is likely to be a rather pointed judgment from the ECfHR in favour of her release over procedural issues that fall well below the expected European normative.

In short Ukraine internally has the opportunity to recommend and grant her release immediately prior to the ECfHR ruling,  thus taking much the sting and media interest out of that particular tail, whilst also being seen by much of the domestic audience to meet the symbolic motivations due to the Orthodox Easter.

Of course regardless of the Pardons Committee recommendations (if in favour of a release), or the ECfHR ruling, Ms Tymoshenko may remain in jail anyway pending any Ukrainian appeal against said ruling.

Nevertheless, perhaps the planets are indeed aligning for an Orthodox Easter pardon – which I have mentioned many times, would not surprise me should it occur.

That said, as I have written before, if Tymoshenko is not released before or during the RADA summer recess then I seriously doubt that she will be before 2016 – thus it is unlikely any deal will be signed and everyone will have to resort to Plan B – the quiet implementation of parts of the DCFTA most expedient to both sides.

%d bloggers like this: