EU Commissioner Warns Ukraine Against 'Political' Justice

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- A top European Union official on Thursday warned Ukrainian authorities against using justice 'for political ends.'

Stefan Fule

EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule made the comment after meeting former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, now an opposition leader who says corruption charges brought against her are politically motivated.

Tymoshenko is alleged to have misappropriated some 380 million dollars in state funds and improperly used official vehicles during her 2009 unsuccessful presidential election campaign.

'I reiterated to Mrs Tymoshenko the need for criminal law not be used for political ends,' Fule said in a statement.

Fule said Tymoshenko agreed with him on the need to 'play a constructive role' over government plans to reform electioral rules, the constitution and the judiciary.

Prosecutors allowed Tymoshenko to travel to Brussels for a meeting of the European People's Party, an umbrella group of European conservative parties.

Earlier this year, her two previous requests to visit the EU capital had been rejected.

Tymoshenko has argued that she and her allies are the victims of a state campaign to repress the opposition.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has denied the allegations, saying his government is cracking down on high-level corruption without regard to political associations.

Source: DPA