Judge Rodion Kireyev has denied the defense’s request to question Yuriy Maslak, the expert of the Kyiv Forensic Research Institute that headed the commission that prepared the legal and expert findings of the damages allegedly caused by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as a result of the singing of gas contracts with Russia in 2009.

“This expert evaluation was done on orders from the prosecutor’s office and today they are hiding Yuriy Maslak in a hospital so that he can’t testify in court,” Yulia Tymoshenko said, demanding that the expert be summoned to testify.

According to the ex-premier, the defense has information that the health of Mr. Maslak allows him to testify in court. “According to our information, Yuriy Maslak is hiding in order not to testify under oath. The prosecutor’s office and court are covering up for Yuriy Maslak, who is pretending to be ill to avoid responsibility for this assessment,” she said, according to Tymoshenko's official website.

In announcing the petition, the defense insisted on questioning other witnesses that were involving in preparing this expert opinion. “We insist that the court summon all the other experts involved in this evaluation, which wasn’t based on accounting documents and mistakenly calculated losses,” said Yulia Tymoshenko.

The ex-premier emphasized that the expert assessment was impartial and not based on accounting records, and therefore can’t be taken into consideration by the court in this case. “If other experts aren’t summoned this will prove that the court is covering up the truth in this case and is trying to violate our rights, that it is trying to tailor this trial to the ordered verdict,” said Yulia Tymoshenko.

After announcing the decision not to question Yuriy Maslak, the judge said that all other applications by the defense regarding ordering additional expert opinions, questioning experts and witnesses “repeat motions filed earlier, which were already considered by the court.”

Given that the judge changed the order of the trial, Judge Rodion Kireyev proposed that Yulia Tymoshenko testify next. “We request a 30-minute break to allow the defense to prepare for this answer, given that the court has changed the order of examination of evidence,” said Mykola Siryi.

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