Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tymoshenko's position bolstered

Whatever positive spin Ukraine's smart-arsed politician will try and place on today's ECHR verdict - this is the unvarnished truth from an impeccable source: 

Court: Ukraine breached human rights of former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko

Judges today decided that Ukraine breached the human rights of former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko.
The European Court of Human Rights held in particular that Tymoshenko’s pre-trial detention had been arbitrary, that the lawfulness of her detention had not been properly reviewed and, that she had no possibility to seek compensation for her unlawful deprivation of liberty.
In its judgment in the case of Tymoshenko v. Ukraine (application no. 49872/11), which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights;

a violation of Article 5 § 4 (right to a speedy review of the lawfulness of detention);
a violation of Article 5 § 5 (right to compensation for unlawful detention);

a violation of Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) in conjunction with Article 5;
and it held, by a majority, that there had been no violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) in respect of Ms Tymoshenko’s alleged ill-treatment during her transfer to hospital on 20 April 2012 and the effectiveness of the investigation of those complaints.
The case concerned complaints related to the detention of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko. The court found that, given that the judge had referred to her alleged hindering of the proceedings and contemptuous behaviour, her right to liberty had been restricted for other reasons than those permissible under Article 5.
Tymoshenko can now say with fear of contradiction her detention was unlawful...her human rights violated, and,because she was such a high profile political figure -  this was politically motivated...
This will not be easy to 'paper over'....


Bernard said...

As usual the PoR leadership excel in denyials, excuses and self-praise. The ruling was expected, it was because of the old criminal code that we have now changed, it only concerns the detention, not the trial itself etc etc. See for example.

To sum up the PoR argument: "we have done nothing wrong, and if something wrong was made, it was the fault of Tymoshenko herself; we do not have to anything because of this ruling, as we we have already done what is needed to prevent it from occurring again". This irresponsible attitude is leading Ukraine to a dead end. The PoR leadership is still desperately clinging on to the illusion that EU will suddenly give in, and accept the PoR practice of using the judiciary as a tool for persecution of political opponents. This will simply not happen.

Added to the ruling is a joint concurring opinion of three of the judges that is remarkably clear and to-the-point in relating the violation of article 18 in conjunction with article 5 to the core of the issue: "namely the intentional misuse of state
power". The three judges directly state that: "we consider it as proven on the basis of the standard required by Article 18 of
the Convention that the reasons given for seeking and issuing a detention order against the applicant were not only insufficient in terms of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention but were not the only reasons, and that there were other ulterior motives underlying the action of the relevant authorities which were not related to the proper conduct of the criminal proceedings per se, but rather to the applicant’s identity and influence as a leading opposition politician in Ukraine." This conclusion coincides exactly with the position of political leaders in Germany, France, UK, Italy, USA, Canada, Sweden and others.

There is also some rejoicing from the authorities concerning the fact that the court could not agree to rule that Ukraine had
violated article 3 of the convention (ill-treatment), see for example. However, it should be noted that three of the seven judges, including the president of the court, Dean Spielmann, wanted to rule against Ukraine also in this regard. Added to the ruling is a statement from these three judges, giving their extensive
arguments that Ukraine also had violated article 3 of the convention "in substantive aspect".
Instead of rejoicing about the 4-3 voting result, the Ukrainian authorities should read this text very carefully, as no doubt political leaders in Europe and North America will.

Anonymous said...

My reading of the ruling of the ECHR is that it is a significant yet partial win for Tymochenko Whilst the court had ruled that her pretrial detention was in breach of her Human rights it did not find or uphold a number of her claims of mistreatment whilst in detention.

The court made no ruling as to the fairness or correctness of the judgement which lead to her imprisonment this is the subject of an additional appeal hearing before the court

The significance of the pre-trail detention may give course for grounds of annulment or a miss-trial.

The full details of the judgement is outlined in the Courts press release. It is unclear what if any rulings the court has made in respect for imprisonment.

Bernard said...

Anonymous 8:27, you should read the ruling in full, not just the press release. It is true that the court held by a narrow 4-3 majority that Ukraine had not violated article 3 of the convention. But three of the judges, including the president of the court, made a lengthy statement added to the ruling, where they provided extensive arguments for their opinion that Ukraine has also vioalated article 3, concerning ill-treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko. You can be sure this statement will be read as well by the EU, and it is definitely not without significance.

Anonymous said...

Again the ruling of the ECHR did not address issues related to her imprisonment, This is subject to a further review. The ruling that was made concerned the pre-trial detention. Yes the ruling in relation to allegations of misuse and abuse in prion was a majority judgment but that is how the system works. You are not suggesting the ECHR got it wrong are you?