Kyiv's Pechersky District Court Judge Rodion Kireyev has now allowed co-rapporteurs of the PACE Monitoring Committee to meet with former Prime Minister and Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been in Lukyanivka prison since August 5.

PACE Monitoring Committee co-rapporteur Mailis Reps announced this at a press conference at UKRINFORM on Friday.

"We asked for a meeting with Ms. Tymoshenko, but our request was rejected by the judge, who said that we do not have sufficient grounds for such a meeting," Reps said.

"However, we will ask for this [meeting with Tymoshenko] during our subsequent visits to Ukraine, and I hope that we will be able to meet her," she said.

Reps noted that during their visit to Kyiv, the co-rapporteurs had met with the lawyers defending Tymoshenko, former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and former Acting Defense Minister Valeriy Ivashchenko, who "talked in detail about the situation in all cases."

Another co-rapporteur for Ukraine, Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin, recalled that Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg had also not been allowed to have a meeting with Tymoshenko.

"We believe that these are the symptomatic signs of certain processes in the system of human rights protection in Ukraine," she said.

As reported, on October 11, Kyiv's Pechersky District Court found former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko guilty of abuse of office in signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009 and sentenced her to seven years in prison, with no right to hold public office for three years.

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