The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the detention of the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, prior to her trial in 2011, was unlawful and that her right to a legal review was violated.
Tymoshenko’s lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, praised the ruling: “For the first time, not the political institution but the highest European legal institution in a legal way said that prosecution of Mrs Tymoshenko in Ukraine had nothing to do with the law, had nothing to do with the democratic standards”.
Tymoshenko’s complaint about physical mistreatment during a transfer from prison to hospital in 2012 was not upheld.
The 52-year-old was a key figure in Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. She went on to become prime minister twice before losing a close presidential race in 2010 to Viktor Yanukovich.
The ruling by the ECHR is likely to sour relationships between Ukraine and the EU.
Amanda Paul of the European Policy Centre told euronews: “The EU has been explicit that they want to see an end to selective justice. This cause, combined with this verdict, would indicate in my opinion, it would seem far less likely now that the Association agreement would be signed than maybe one or two weeks ago.”
Tymoshenko is serving a seven year sentence for abuse of office over a gas deal with Russia. European judges will examine at a later date whether her sentence should be overturned.