Defense: prosecutor’s office selectively allowing witnesses in Shcherban case
The prosecution is selectively calling witnesses in the case involving the 1996 murder of MP Yevhen Shcherban, says lawyer Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk, according to the official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.
"The prosecutor’s office wants to interrogate so-called witnesses who say they know the circumstances of the case from others, but the prosecution doesn’t want to interrogate other witnesses," said Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk.
He said the investigation continues to restrict the right of Yulia Tymoshenko’s legal defense team to review all the materials in the case. "The defense asked the prosecutor’s office to question witnesses with the participation of the defense – we were denied. We asked for the witness interrogation reports to review – we were denied. The prosecutor’s office isn’t giving us any additional documents to review. Six weeks ago we were given six volumes, and that’s all we have today. Now it’s becoming clear why," he added.
"The defense has learned that Haiduk [Vitaliy Haiduk held senior posts in the Donetsk Oblast Council and Donetsk Oblast State Administration in 1994-1997] stated that there were no conflicts between Yevhen Shcherban and Yulia Tymoshenko or between ISD and UESU. But, unfortunately, for some reason the prosecutor’s office isn’t raising the issue of interrogating Haiduk in the pre-trial investigation so that the defense has the same opportunity to ask Haiduk questions and find out the real circumstances of the case. There is a selective approach and, unfortunately, the choice is being made by the Prosecutor General’s Office," stressed Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk.
In his turn, Serhiy Vlasenko said the defense plans to file a motion with the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv to question Vitaliy Haiduk and Serhiy Taruta, who in 1995 founded and headed Azovimpex, one of the founders in 1996 of the Industrial Union of Donbas.
"The prosecutor’s office isn’t conducting an objective investigation. The prosecutor’s office isn’t looking for the truth in this case. The prosecutor’s office isn’t looking for the people who ordered the murder of Yevhen Shcherban. The prosecutor’s office is fulfilling a political function," believes Yulia Tymoshenko’s legal defender.
Oleksandra Kuzhel was the only witness for the defense to be questioned in court. She testified that there were no conflicts between Yevhen Shcherban’s and Yulia Tymoshenko’s companies. She also told the court that the victim had problems with the Itera Company and urged the prosecutor’s office to investigate the distribution of Yevhen Shcherban’s assets after his assassination.