21 August 2017
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Oleksandr Turchynov: authorities cancelled planned visit with Yulia Tymoshenko

First Deputy Head of Batkivshchyna...

First Deputy Head of Batkivshchyna Oleksandr Turchynov says the refusal by the administration of the Kachanivska prison to allow his scheduled visit with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is further evidence of the government’s disdain for the constitution and laws of Ukraine, according to the Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.

"Yulia Tymoshenko asked for the meeting. Formally they can’t deny her request so they’re blocking the visit in this way. This is proof that legal mechanisms don’t work in this country. This was an officially authorized visit that was on the schedule. They checked the box that they executed the request for a meeting. But it so happened that ‘accidentally’ they learned that Yulia Tymoshenko is sick and can’t move around the prison on her own," said Oleksandr Turchynov.

He stressed that by law such meetings take place in the presence of a prison representative. "It’s a regulation. I understood that a prison employee would be present at the meeting and it’s unlikely that I would be able to discuss serious strategic issues. However, I would have tried to discuss those issues that could have been discussed in the presence of a representative of the prison service. It was very important for me to see Yulia Tymoshenko. It’s impossible for our team to communicate with her and this is a very serious problem," he said.

"Their arrogance and audacity can only be explained one way – it was agreed with the country’s leadership and they are happily carrying out orders, understanding that only the president can dismiss or promote them, and for such amoral actions they expect another promotion or star on their shoulder," he stressed.

According to Oleksandr Turchynov, investigators today again tried to interrogate Yulia Tymoshenko in the absence of her lawyers. MP Andriy Kozhemyakin, who is the ex-premier’s defender in the United Energy Systems of Ukraine case, was able to see Yulia Tymoshenko after lengthy negotiations with prison authorities, who insisted that he did not have proper authorization from the SBU.

"At first the prison authorities wouldn’t allow Andriy Kozhemyakin to visit her. After several hours of talks they spoke with Prosecutor Pshonka and allowed the defender to go to Yulia Tymoshenko’s cell while the investigators were there. They again tried to shamelessly interrogate her without her defenders. Andriy Kozhemyakin was able to enter the cell and informed Yulia Tymoshenko that instead of the official visit we witnessed the latest farce by the Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Prison Service," he added.

The deputy head of Batkivshchyna stressed that opposition factions in parliament will demand that the head of the State Prison Service report before the Verkhovna Rada on their enforcement of constitutional rights.

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