The office of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv has received letters from ex-Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk and a representative of former President Viktor Yushchenko stating that they are unable to testify in court and requesting that their testimony given to the Prosecutor General’s Office during the pre-trial investigation be read out loud instead.

The letter from Viktor Pynzenyk states that he suffered a heart attack and is being treated at Feofania hospital. It claims that the ex-minister has psychological stress that makes it impossible for him to appear in court. Therefore, he upholds his testimony during the pre-trial investigation and asked that it be read out loud in court.

The letter from Viktor Yushchenko’s representative says that the former head of state can not testify in court because he is not in Ukraine and requests that his testimony provided during the pre-trial investigation also be read out loud.

The prosecutor said that given his state of health, Viktor Pynzenyk's pre-trial testimony should be read in court and Viktor Yushchenko should again be summoned given that his reason for not appearing is not valid.

The defense maintained that both witnesses should be summoned to court due to the fact that their testimony appears in the indictment.

The court decided not to summon Viktor Pynzenyk due to this health and to send Viktor Yushchenko another summons to appear in court.

Testimony given by Viktor Pynzenyk during the pre-trial investigation is now being read aloud.

While testifying last week, former Vice Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov said that the December 2008 gas talks in Moscow were disrupted because of Viktor Yushchenko position not to allow RosUkrEnergo to be removed from the gas market.

"A clear system of communication was established between one of the owners of RosUkrEnergo, Dmytro Firtash, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. When the heads of the Ukrainian and Russian governments decided to work without intermediaries, RosUkrEnergo had only one argument – the position of President Yushchenko. There was no other reason other than the interests of RosUkrEnergo to disrupt the talks on December 31 [2008]," he said.

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