Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Tymoshenko verdict a travesty of justice

12th October 2011

Responding to today's verdict in which Yulia Tymoshenko has been jailed for seven years, European Conservatives and Reformists group foreign affairs spokesman Charles Tannock MEP said:

"This is an appalling abuse of justice using a law passed by Stalin. Yulia Tymoshenko should be judged at the ballot box, not by the criminal justice system.

"I am one of Ukraine's greatest supporters and I sincerely want to see it move closer to the EU. However, the actions of President Yanukovych are providing a great disservice to his people by cutting off their links to their neighbours and trading partners.

"Yanukovych will never be taken seriously as long as he believes this kind of behaviour is acceptable.

"I last saw Yulia earlier this year and she was concerned about her future. The world will be watching to ensure that she is treated humanely and that all of her rights to appeal are honoured.

"The EU should continue to extend the hand of friendship to Ukraine; but often the role of a friend is to tell the truth, and we should openly tell the current Ukrainian regime that this kind of behaviour - to eliminate the leader of the opposition by manipulating the justice system - is totally contrary to our values."