Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, says the new trial against Yulia Tymoshenko will not safeguard her right to defense, according to the Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.

“France has repeatedly warned Ukraine against using the legal system for political purposes. We fear that this latest trial, like previous ones, will fail to safeguard the rights of the defense, as protected by international law,” Bernard Valero said at a press conference today, commenting on the trial scheduled to begin on April 19 involving United Energy Systems of Ukraine.

He also expressed concern over the conditions of the detention of political prisoners in Ukraine. “We are concerned not only about the functioning of the justice system but also about the treatment of detainees, whether they be Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuri Lutsenko or Valeriy Ivashchenko,” he stressed.

“France therefore urges the Ukrainian government once again to fully respect human rights and its international commitments, notably with regard to the Council of Europe, as well as the commitments it renewed at the EU-Ukraine summit in December 2011,” he said.

The trial in the case brought against Yulia Tymoshenko involving United Energy Systems of Ukraine will start on April 19 in the Kyivsky District Court of Kharkiv.

On October 12, 2011, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) opened a criminal investigation under paragraph 2 of article 15 and paragraph 5 of article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, charging Yulia Tymoshenko with “organizing tax evasion totaling over 4.7 million hrynvias, theft and attempted theft of state funds through the payment of more than 25 million hryvnias in illegal VAT refunds, forgery while in office and avoiding to pay 681,000 hryvnias in income tax.”

In November 2011, Yulia Tymoshenko’s defense team appealed the resolution opening the criminal case, but in December 2011 the Shevchenkivsky District Court of Kyiv rejected the appeal.

On January 20, 2012, the SBU announced the end of its investigation in this case and gave the case materials to Yulia Tymoshenko for review. In January, the Kyivsky District Court of Kharkiv limited to March 28 the time the ex-premier and her defense lawyers had to review the case file.