(Kyiv) A former Ukrainian prime minister jailed today for abuse of office must be released, Amnesty International said today.
Yuliya Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and barred from holding public office for three years by a Kyiv court for signing a multi-million dollar energy contract with Russia in January 2009, while she was Prime Minister.
“The prosecution against Yuliya Timoshenko is politically motivated. The charges against her are not internationally recognizable offences, they are attempts to criminalize decisions that she made in the course of her work," said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director of Amnesty International.
"Poor political decisions of this kind – if that is what they were - should be punished by voters, not through courts. Her conviction on these charges is illegitimate and she should be immediately released."
Yuliya Tymoshenko, a prominent opposition leader, was Prime Minister from January to September 2005 and again from December 2007 to March 2010.