April 11, 2013
The Human Rights Commissioner of
Rada (Parliament) says it is premature to consider a pardon for jailed former Prime Minister
because there are still legal cases involving her that have not been completed and her appeals process is still underway.
Valeria Lutkovska, who on
asked Ukrainian President
to pardon former Interior Minister
, a key Tymoshenko ally, because of ill health and the fact that the minister had already served most of his sentence, on Wednesday downplayed speculation that Tymoshenko might soon be freed.
Speculation about Tymoshenko has been rife since last weekend, when President Yanukovych acted on the Human Rights Commissioner's recommendation and pardoned Lutsenko and five others, who wereserving sentences for crimes ranging from embezzlement to abuse of office.
However, unlike Lutsenko, whose legal options had been exhausted, Tymoshenko is still facing other legal cases and awaiting a review by the European Court of Human Rights on her 2011 conviction over the abuse of office for illegally signing a controversial
gas deal with
in 2009 without Cabinet approval.
"The situation with Tymoshenko is a little different than Lutsenko," said the Human Rights Commissioner. "The cases have not yet been completed, so, I think, it's premature to talk about it now."
The other cases Lutkovska was referring to include a judicial inquiry into financial irregularities involving the energy company Tymoshenko led in the 1990s, United Energy Systems of
(UESU) Corporation, and the 1996 murder of MP
who was gunned down outside Donetsk Airport in which she has been named as a suspect by the Prosecutor General.
As both cases are ongoing, Lutkovska explained that this precludes a Presidential pardon at present.