Yulia Tymoshenko has now been officially named as a suspect in the 1996 murder of prominent Donetsk businessman, Yevhen Shcherban who was assassinated by a professional hit squad on November 3rd 1996 as he and his family were disembarking from his airplane at the city airport.
In 2002 eight men were arrested and tried for his murder - all were found guilty. No linkage to Yulia Tymoshenko was ever considered at that time even though she was still in opposition to the-then president, Leonid Kuchma, and even though she was being persecuted by the government of the day. It would have been very easy and convenient to charge her with Scherban's death at that time.
In Spring last year, when it became clear the case and trial against Tymoshenko for exceeding her powers in arranging a long-term gas deal with Russia would not be accepted or deemed sound by international observers and governments, another case had to constructed against her by Yanukovych and her enemies as 'back-up'.
At that time, deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin was dispatched on a tour of European capitals, bizarrely organised by the same PR agency employed by Party of Regions, to broadcast allegations that the P-G's office had details of payments linking Tymoshenko to the convicted killers.
Kuzmin claimed Shcherban's killers had been paid from an the intermediate account, that of an Antigua-registered company linked to former Ukrainian prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko, Orphin S.A.
But in this TVi television documentary it is made very clear that many payments from many companies were made to the Antiguan registered Orphin S.A. One of the payee companies was Somolli Enterprises - run at that time by Tymoshenko - they had paid Orphin S.A. nearly $3 million, six months after Shcherban's killing. The same allegations directed at Tymoshenko could therefore be made against any or all of the other companies who transferred cash to Orphin S.A.
The case against Tymoshenko is almost without substance. Furthermore, as I have posted previously, there is circumstantial evidence that Yevhen Shcherban was 'rubbed out' by his own people...those who ultimately inherited his business empire, and the business empires of other prominent businessmen murdered in the Donbas region in the early and mid nineties.
The spotlight will be shone on them and their murky past if any trial were ever to be staged.
My guess is this Shcherban scheme is one of a number of possible scenarios that could be employed to solve the Tymoshenko problem. Tymoshenko could be sent abroad for long-term treatment. The Shcherban case would then be used as a deterrent to discourage any return.