PACE Rapporteurs react to ECtHR ruling with regard to illegal arrest of Yulia Tymoshenko

Strasbourg, 03.05.2013 - The co-rapporteurs for Ukraine of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden, EPP/CD), as well as Pieter Omtzigt, (Netherlands, EPP/CD), Rapporteur of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on “Keeping political and criminal responsibility separate”, have urged the Ukrainian authorities to use all legal means to release Yulia Tymoshenko following the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on her arrest and pre-trial detention.

"The Court's ruling that Ms Tymoshenko's arrest and pre-trial detention were arbitrary and illegal and that she was not provided with a proper opportunity to have the lawfulness of her detention reviewed, confirms the grave deficiencies in Ukraine's justice system that were highlighted in Assembly Resolution 1862 (2012). We therefore call upon the Ukrainian authorities to take immediate steps to address the deficiencies noted in the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on the detention of former Prime Minister Timoshenko," the rapporteurs said. 

In addition, given the clear ECtHR ruling that she was illegally detained for other reasons than bringing her before a competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence, the rapporteurs urged the Ukrainian authorities to use all legal means to release Ms Tymoshenko from prison without further delay, following the positive example set by the release of the former Minister of the Interior Yuriy Lutsenko. "We specifically expect the Ukrainian authorities not to wait with this until the Court in Strasbourg rules on her appeal against her conviction by the Ukrainian court. That would not be justifiable in the light of the court judgment," the rapporteurs stressed.

The two co-rapporteurs for the Monitoring Committee will visit Ukraine at the beginning of June. Mr Omtzigt will present his report, as adopted by the committee in April, at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg in June.