Skip to comments.Ukraine’s Former Defense Minister Ivashchenko Jailed
Posted on 04/23/2012 11:37:17 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
The Pechersky district court in Kyiv on April 12 sentenced Valery Ivashchenko, who was acting Minister of Defense from June 2009 until April 2010, to five years in jail. This is despite the European Unions warnings that more persecution of ministers from the former government of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (2007-2010) would put into question Ukraines European integration. Ivashchenko has been the fourth imprisoned former top official from Tymoshenkos government. Like Tymoshenko, former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko and former Environment Minister Georgy Filipchuk before him, Ivashchenko was indicted under the same Article 365 of the Criminal Code for excess of authority, inherited from Soviet law, which President Viktor Yanukovych himself had admitted was outdated (see EDM, April 10).
Ivashchenko was arrested in August 2010, long before Tymoshenko, Lutsenko and Filipchuk. The Prosecutor-Generals Office holds Ivashchenko responsible for the illegal sale of the Defense Ministrys shipyard in the Crimean port of Feodosia. According to prosecutors, he approved the shipyards bankruptcy and subsequent sale to a private company. This scheme has been widely used in Ukrainian privatization. The shipyard reportedly came under the ownership of a company linked to a peoples deputy from Tymoshenkos party (Rosbalt, August 31, 2010; Ekonomicheskie Izvestia, April 13). The deputy in question, Andry Senchenko, has denied any involvement in the affair.
The court said that while the shipyards market value amounted to the equivalent of $9 million, it was sold for a little more than $2 million so the state was defrauded of the difference in price. Ivashchenko claimed that evidence in the case against him had been fabricated by former Deputy Defense Minister Ihor Montrezor and former Deputy Prosecutor-General Vitaly Shchetkin in revenge for demoting Montrezor in 2009. Ivashchenkos lawyers have the right to appeal within two weeks, but they are pessimistic about the outcome (Kommersant-Ukraine, April 13).
Former Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko (2005-2007), who is a prominent opposition leader, has said that Ivashchenkos case has obviously been one of score-settling as many other officials who had been involved in the Feodosia shipyard affair had not even been questioned, let alone punished (Ekonomicheskie Izvestia, April 13). Commenting immediately after Ivashchenkos arrest in 2010, Hrytsenko, who used to work with Ivashchenko, had opined that Ivashchenko was a person who could take a wrong decision under pressure (Rosbalt, August 31, 2010). Unlike Tymoshenko or Lutsenko, Ivashchenko has never been active in politics. As a person who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Ivashchenko has been made a scapegoat for somebody elses corrupt decisions. It is telling that the court decided not to punish Ivashchenko by property confiscation as is usually the case when somebody is indicted for corruption.
Selective justice is too obvious in Ivashchenkos case. The US Embassy in Ukraine released a statement on April 13 expressing its deep disappointment in this latest example of selective justice and calling for Ivashchenkos release taking into account the state of his health (Ukrainska Pravda, April 13). Ivashchenkos spinal problems forced him to lie down rather than stand during the hearing of his verdict. He also reportedly has problems with his thyroid.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton expressed her disappointment as well. Ashton said that in spite of repeated calls for Kyiv to comply with international standards of fair trial, Ivashchenkos trial demonstrated significant shortcomings as far as law and procedure was concerned. Ashton also expressed concern over the April 5 sentencing of Filipchuk to three years in jail. She stressed that respect for the rule of law was crucial to Ukraines political association and economic integration with the EU (UNIAN, April 13). The EU last December put off the signing of an association and free trade deal with Ukraine over Tymoshenkos indictment. Lutsenkos indictment on trumped-up charges in February strengthened the positions in Europe of those who believe that Ukraines ruling class is not ready for integration with the EU (see EDM, April 2). If Ivashchenko and Filipchuk are not freed any time soon, their indictments will be two more nails in the coffin of Ukraines European integration.
Meanwhile, Javier Solana, Ashtons predecessor as the EUs foreign policy chief, has called Ukraine one of the biggest frustrations of his life. He said he was not sure whether Ukraine and Georgia would ever become part of the EU. Solana, who took an active part in the talks between the government and the opposition during the anti-Yanukovych Orange Revolution in 2004, regretted that the Orange period was very short. While Tymoshenko remains in prison, former President Viktor Yushchenko is sitting at home having lost his political clout; at the same time, their arch rival Yanukovych, who lost the 2004 election, is running the country. Solana described Ukraines political class as immature and weak and the political institutions as shaky (RFE/RL via Ukrainska Pravda, April 14).
I bet that they will end up in a FSB prison in Russia.
“The US Embassy in Ukraine released a statement on April 13 expressing its deep disappointment in this latest example of selective justice and calling for Ivashchenkos release taking into account the state of his health...”
A few questions:
Why should I believe anything from the left wingers in obuma’s state department? The department is run by the commie hillary.
And what makes the Jamestown Foundation a credible source?
Who funds Jamestown?
Is it for or against the Soros faction in Ukraine?
Yulia Tymoshenko was partners with Victor Yushenkov, the Orange-Revolution hero who was doused with dioxin in an assassination attempt. (He turned purple and bumpy.) But the two had fairly separate visions and got on poorly, so she might not have been so heroic? He had campaigned against her in something akin to an informal primary to help their blocks merge, securing her block’s support by promising to make her Prime Minister (?).
Anyway, both were opposed to a New Soviet Empire, which places them on Soros’ side, but that doesn’t make them neo-socialists. In fact, they kicked the socialists out of their anti-neo-Soviet bloc. Soros’ objectives in supporting the anti-neo-Soviets may have been merely financial; he probably wanted in on Russia’s emerging oil industry which was dominated by an oligarchy of associates, not keen on letting an outsider in.
That’s a nice “About me” page for Jamestown.
Can you give me link about Jamestown and its opinion of Putin and Russia?
I’m sorry? You appear to feel that Putin deserves support. Not exactly a common perception amongst conservatives IMHO. Would like to hear your reasons or perhaps I misread you. Thanks.
“Im sorry? You appear to feel that Putin deserves support. Not exactly a common perception amongst conservatives IMHO. Would like to hear your reasons or perhaps I misread you. Thanks.”
I’m happy to oblige, ashukla.
I freelance for a number of Jewish organizations in Russia and Georgia.
Now, after the last Putin election, the Jewish voters were ecstatic that Putin won. In fact, the Jews voted overwhelmingly for Putin. They love Putin because they have wide personal and business freedom in Russia now.
So I see all these anti-Putin articles floating around FR. Why? I ask myself.
I do some research and see that Soros is involved with his left-wing trash sites attacking Putin. And I see a few FReepers promoting Soros propaganda.
So, I’m trying to discover whether Jamestown is a legitimate web site or a trash-troll site set up by Soros.
BTW, you do not represent “most” conservatives on FR. Your opinion is yours and yours alone.