Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Yanuk and the judges

Today PM Yanukovych visited the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. He declared that any political statements [made during the current crisis] will not influence the decisions of judges; and that, "We are making it impossible for any kind of pressure to be applied on judges."

This reminded me of a conversation between the then-president Kuchma and the then-head of Donetsk Oblast Rada Viktor Yanukovych, on 30th March 2000, secretly recorded by Mykola Melnychenko. The pair were discussing a court case being held in Donetsk, in which Kuchma considered that the accused, Sergey Salov, Oleksandr Moroz's election agent at that time who they were trying to 'frame', was being given 'an easy ride' in court. [Much more about the Salov affair, which finished up in the European court of human rights , in English here ]

Moroz and Yanuk are now big buddies in the ruling coalition - how things change..

Anyway, here are parts of the conversation.

Kuchma..Your judges are the dregs. I am now obliged to come and testify! That's why you should take this fucking judge, hang him by the balls, let him hang for one night.

Yanukovych..I understand. We will look into it.

Kuchma.. Judges in general. All fuckers.

Yanukovych..Well, the're the dregs. The boss of my court there is hopeless. He's got to be changed.

Kuchma..Well, I think now you'll look into it..that he'll remember it his whole life.

It was only about 9 months later that Moroz himself sensationally brought these recordings into the public domain.

[From Andrew Wilson's 'Ukraine's Orange Revolution' Yale University Press, page 57]


Mykhailo Brodsky, a former member of Tymoshenko's 'Batkivshchyna' party interrupted an opposition 'democratic forces' press conference today. He revealed that Tymoshenko had promised him a bottle of cognac if she was unable to bribe the Constitutional Court, and even asked him for the money to bribe judges.

Yushchenko has been on his travels today too - to Brussels. At a press conference with Euro-parliament head Hans-Gert Pottering he stated that Ukrainian political forces are working on a suitable political packet, and that he is, "Convinced that we find ourselves close today to solving the political crisis."

Should all be sorted by Christmas then..

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