Tymoshenko Trial Harms Ukraine, Komorowski Says To Yanukovych

GDANSK, Poland -- President Bronislaw Komorowski said after a meeting with Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych at his Gdansk summer residence that the Tymoshenko case might seriously tarnish the reputation of Ukraine and hinder its integration into the European Union.

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

“Ukraine has made a considerable effort and has serious achievements on the way to European integration, but there are also some obstacles, and one of the is, undoubtedly, the trial of Ms. Yulia Tymoshenko, which many countries of Europe consider a political, rather than criminal, trial that tarnishes the image of Ukraine,” the Polish president’s website says.

Komorowski emphasized that the Ukrainian leadership should take into account the international opinion and do its utmost so that the trial of ex-premier Tymoshenko does not look an act of political vengeance.

The Polish Internet portal Dziennik Polski notes in the article “How to Come Out of a Deadlock” that Poland is worried about not only the course of the political trial but also its international consequences closely linked with the Eastern Partnership summit in September.

The publication quotes a Polish diplomat as saying that Warsaw wants to make it the most successful summit during its EU presidency.

“But a good atmosphere may be not enough,” the publication says, “if Yulia Tymoshenko stays behind bars, while the President of Ukraine will be sitting next to France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who are not exactly burning with love for Ukraine and do not see a place for it in the community.”

The Day has asked Andrii Yermolaiev, director of the National Institute of Strategic Studies, to comment on the Polish president’s statement about the likely impact of the Tymoshenko case on Ukraine’s integration into the EU.

Taking into account that it is about our European partners who take a deferential attitude to justice as a branch of power, there is only one way out: to finish the trial on the basis of true evidence and observing all the procedures that lead to a sentence.

Unfortunately, many Ukrainian politicians and experts are commenting on this situation in what I would call ‘traditions’ of [the Russian Civil War anarchist] Ataman Makhno.

If there are objections to and complaints about the way trials are held in Ukraine, we should ‘jump’ out of this situation.

I do not think that any public or political figure should be immune against justice because of the office they hold. The law is the same for all.

I think furnishing irrefutable evidence will be in fact the final argument for our European colleagues as far as the validity of this trial and law-abidance is concerned.

It is up to the judges to pass a sentence or to bring in an acquittal. It seems to me the answer is easy to see.

“As for our European partners’ remarks that Ukraine should comply with its own legislation as well as with European standards of justice, I would not like to comment a court ruling because I am neither a judicial corps member nor a law expert. But, like everybody else, I am awaiting the end of this case.”

Source: The Day