Prosecutors Reopen Murder Case Against Tymoshenko

KIEV, Ukraine -- The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office on Monday reopened a murder case against jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency reported.

Yulia Tymoshenko

Her lawyer Sergei Vlasenko had said earlier in the day that he had received an official letter from the Prosecutor’s Office stating that the murder case had been closed on April 26.

The Prosecutor’s Office said the case had not been dropped but suspended, as prosecutors were waiting for a response to a legal assistance request they had sent to other countries.

It did not name those countries or say whether any of them have responded so far.

In late January, Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka accused Tymoshenko and another former premier, Pavlo Lazarenko, of ordering the killing of Ukrainian businessman and lawmaker Yevhen Shcherban.

The Prosecutor General’s Office suspects Tymoshenko and Lazarenko of paying a total of $2.82 million for Shcherban’s murder.

Shcherban, a Ukrainian parliamentary lawmaker who also headed Ukraine’s Aton financial corporation, was shot dead with his wife at Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine in November 1996.

The next hearing into the “Shcherban case”, including the questioning of Petro Kirichenko, Lazarenko’s former aide, has been set for Wednesday.

Tymoshenko is currently serving a seven-year jail term for abuse of authority over her signing of a controversial gas deal with Russia in 2009.

Critics say that sentence was politically motivated.

Source: RIA Novosti