Sunday, August 07, 2011

Tymoshenko's defensive errors

Sober analysis of Yulia Tymoshenko's trial is provided by Tetyana Montyan in her latest 'U.P' blog.

She considers Tymoshenko, from the very beginning did not seek the assistance the most professional defence councillors available, with whom she would have to be absolutely open and honest, but used inexperienced lawyers to merely act as pawns and be replaced as the trial progressed, in order to drag out proceedings.

Montyan says the reason for Tymoshenko's mistrust of lawyers is the betrayal of former her legal advisor, Andriy Portnov, whom she took to Moscow to arrange the allegedly dodgy gas deal in 2009. It was he who provided flimsy legal cover for the deal, part of which was the approproriation of billions of dollars worth of gas that may or may not have legally belonged to RosUkrEnergo, possibly in exchange for the promise of a top job for Portnov if Tymoshenko became president. [How often does betrayal figure in Ukrainian politics and history?]

Nevertheless, Montyan suggests that Portnov, a competent lawyer, would almost certainly have pointed out to Tymoshenko the possible dangers of her actions at that time.

But afterwards he falls out with Tymoshenko and switches sides, going to Regiony to 'spill the beans'. It is now Portnov who, behind the scenes, is organising the entire case against Tymoshenko.

Motyan considers Tymoshenko's behaviour in court to be self-destructive, virtually wiping out any chance of benign end, [dare I say soft landing?] to the trial. A competent defence adviser would have presented her case, particularly to the outside world, much better, and would have had a firm grasp of her opponents' position, tactics and strategy, having detailed knowledge from Tymoshenko of what Portnov knows. A competent defence adviser would have been using all inside channels available to come some kind of deal with her PoR opponents, [plea-bargaining or similar I suppose], if at all possible, in order to save face for both sides. Working toward a compromise should never be abandoned..[And Tymoshenko has done this before with PoR, as everyone knows..]

"So, she made a strategic mistake: relying on illusory political perspectives on one hand, and having lost confidence in lawyers on the other, she decided not to defend her flanks with all her might, not to oppose her enemies with the most appropriate weaponry available, not to seek the best way out of this situation - but just act the fool and turn the court proceedings into comic farce.."

Even though her enemies have staged this trial with the intention of neutralising and destroying Tymoshenko as the leader of the opposition, and Ukraine's judicial system has been exposed as a joke, LEvko fears there is some truth in what Montyan says.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting but

1. If your lest point is true (that the whole point is to rid of Tym) than she had no chance to make a deal other than by giving up politics (which she wouldn't).

2. From POR's point of view- is this trial and incarcantion the best way to get rid of her? It's reasonable to suppose that they would have considered that letting her die a natural political death would have done the job better.

3. She may have figured that since her case is so shakey the best method would be to make a mockery and have the Europeans pressure Yanuk which they seem to be doing for her.

elmer said...

As is typical in Ukraine, Montyan contradicts herself - but is not bothered by it at all.

The main contradiction? Her premise that there is a "court system" in Ukraine.

If you look at the PS's in her article, she acknowledges that the "court system" in Ukraine has been -- well, it's not a court system.

In her PS, she tries to defuse the argument that says "if this happens to Tymo, then it will happen to everyone." Her response is - "it has been happening to everyone for years, including when Tymo was Prime Minister and could have done something about it."

Meaning, of course, that there has not been and there is no court system in Ukraine.

So she too, like the Party of Regions, criticizes Tymo for her "bad behavior" in court, and criticizes Vlasenko's legal abilities as a lawyer, and the fact that Tymo doesn't trust lawyers after being "betrayed" by Portnov.

As far as I could see, Vlasenko knew his stuff in court and was quite able - but in a kangaroo court, it makes no difference.

But in Ukraine, there is no trust, except insofar as mafiosi trust one another - distrust and betrayal are not just limited to lawyers.

It sounds like what Montyan is saying is that Tymo should have hired Montyan.

But it still would not make a difference - this is a kangaroo court acting on trumped up charges with a pre-determined result.

If there are any lawyers or judges in Ukraine that are proud or satisfied with Ukraine's "court system" - then they are delusional and ignorant.