KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The daughter of jailed former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko urged Western nations Thursday to impose sanctions on officials involved in her mother's imprisonment.
Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abuse of office after a trial that was condemned by the West as politically motivated and which strained Ukraine's ties to Europe and the United States. Tymoshenko denies the charges and accuses President Viktor Yanukovych, her longtime foe, of orchestrating the trial to bar her from politics.
With Tymoshenko in jail, Ukraine's fragmented opposition forces were unable to muster a majority in parliament following an election in October, and Yanukovych's allies again control the legislature and the government.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Tymoshenko's daughter Eugenia, 32, said prosecutors and judges involved in her mother's case should face Western sanctions such as travel bans and freezes on bank accounts.
"We understand that we cannot do it by ourselves inside Ukraine and that is why we need great international support, but also (an) understanding of our international friends that Yanukovych will not just voluntarily give up his power," Eugenia Tymoshenko said in her mother's office in central Kiev. "People like judges, like prosecutors ... they have to be put forward for sanctions. Those are the main executors of repression. Of course, there are people behind them who are in the ruling party, but it could be the first step."
The European Union suspended a key cooperation deal with Kiev over the Yulia Tymoshenko case.
But the visa cancellation followed efforts by Kuzmin to question U.S.-based witnesses in a nearly 15-year-old murder case in Ukraine in which Kuzmin claims Yulia Tymoshenko is implicated. She denies all the accusations. Continued...