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8 April, 2013 15:00   ▪  

Hanne Severinsen: Lutsenko pardon is not a manifestation of a suddenly “fair Ukrainian legislation”

Yuriy Lutsenko release from prison could be seen as a first step towards the Association Agreement, Hanne Severinsen, PACE co-Rapporteur in 1995-2008, told The Ukrainian Week.

“I am very happy to see Yuriy Lutsenko being released Sunday afternoon. This gives a chance for him to regain his health and to return to his important role in Ukrainian Politics.

This is however not a manifestation of a suddenly “fair Ukrainian Legislation”.

As described in the reports of the Danish Helsinki Committee the trials of Lutsenko has been conducted unfair, been selective justice - in fact seen as simple revenge against an important political opposition leader. His arrest was also condemned as arbitrary by the European Court of Human Rights. As late as last week High Specialized Court rejected Lutsenko`s cassation appeal. So the Pardon given on Sunday is unfortunately no confession,” underlined Severinsen.

Viktor Yanukovych’s image is still very bad. The pardon will cautiously be interpreted as a concession without confession. I don’t think any Human Rights Organization is naive enough to interpret this as a shift in the authoritarian attitude of the regime. His most important political opponent Yulia Tymoshenko is still in prison and Legal reforms and their implementation is also pending,” she commented.

“But the positive interpretation of the pardon is that it could be seen as a first step towards the Association Agreement. There has been serious doubt whether Yanukovych want this agreement since his way of acting up to now has been steps in the wrong direction,” Severinsen added.

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