In Kiev, riot police were on duty before court proceedings began against Yulia Tymoshenko. About 2,000 supporters mixed with crowds of anti-Tymoshenko demonstrators before and after the verdict. The reaction from one political colleague to the verdict was emphatic.
“The message is very clear. It is not just that Tymoshenko should be freed, but also other members of her government. It’s important but it is not enough. Enough will be to let them freely take part in the elections, including the elections of 2012,” said Hryhorij Nemyrya, deputy chief of the Batkivshchyna party
The court prosecutor was equally forthright. Speaking after the sentence, she stressed the case against the former prime minister.
“The fact of the matter is that Tymoshenko herself interfered in the Naftogaz company and the way it worked. She interfered in its business. She exceeded her powers. She had no right to give orders to make an agreement on gas supply with Russia’s Gazprom company,” she said.
The demonstration outside the court, which had been peaceful, turned ugly at one stage. It is reported police arrested eight people, while it is understood one person was injured. A media source in Kiev claimed the police used tear gas near the court.
Our correspondent, Sergio Cantone says: “There was great disappointment here in Kiev after the verdict against Tymoshenko had been announced. Now maybe the president and the parliament could change the law, due to international pressure, and decriminalise the crime committed by Tymoshenko, the crime for which she was convicted.”