Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has welcomed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s pardon of former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko.
Jagland said the decision was in the “spirit of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.” Now he hopes the Ukrainian authorities will act in a similar fashion towards jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshenko.
The Secretary General said: “I welcome the decision to pardon former Ministers Lutsenko and Filipchuk, as well as four other persons.
“It follows the spirit of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. I trust that Ukraine will also follow the judgment of the Court in the case of former Prime-Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
“The Council of Europe will continue its co-operation with the Ukrainian authorities, providing assistance and exprtise in the on-going reforms of the judiciary.”
Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), who visited Ukraine last month, also expressed his satisfaction at Lutsenko’s liberation.
“During my recent visit to Ukraine I had a long talk with President Yanukovich during which I again expressed my position, and that of the Parliamentary Assembly, that the problem of imprisoned former government members needed to be swiftly resolved,” Mignon said.
“I am happy that this message was heard and I hope that yesterday’s pardon is a clear sign of a turnaround in the Ukrainian authorities’ approach to dealing with those cases considered by PACE as arising from the selective application of justice.
“I now call on the authorities to rapidly find a solution, in line with Council of Europe principles, to the emblematic case of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and to reform the legal system so that such cases do not recur.”
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