According to the Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement regarding the decision by the Ukrainian appellate court in the Yulia Tymoshenko case:

"I was deeply troubled to learn that the Kyiv Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction and sentence of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"Canada is troubled by the manner in which the arrest, prosecution, conviction and appeal of Yulia Tymoshenko was carried out by Ukrainian authorities. The apparent political bias and arbitrary prosecution in this and other cases hamper Ukraine’s democratic development. It is without question that a legitimate and active opposition is a vital part of a vibrant and effective democracy.

"There were clear signs that the court proceedings fell far short of internationally recognized norms of fairness, transparency and due process.

"Canada continues to urge the Ukrainian government to strengthen judicial independence and capacity. These are necessary to the peaceful, democratic and prosperous society that Ukraine is striving to become, and Canada will continue to support their efforts in this direction."