[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] held a hearing [press release, PDF] Tuesday on the appeal of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive]. The hearing comes just one day before a Ukrainian court is set to rule on Tymoshenko's appeal of her conviction [AP report] for abuse of office. Ukraine may have to pay penalties if the court in Strasbourg rules against Tymoshenko's appeal. Tymoshenko's daughter, Eugenia, expressed pessimism regarding the Ukrainian court's ruling on Wednesday. According to the press release,
The applicant alleges, in particular: that her detention was politically motivated; that there has been no judicial review of the lawfulness of her detention in Kyiv SIZO no. 13; that her detention conditions are inadequate, with no medical care provided for her numerous health problems; and, that she was under round-the-clock surveillance in Kharkiv hospital. She relies principally on Article 3 (prohibition of degrading treatment or punishment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security), Article 8 (right to private life) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights.Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison in October 2011 over allegations involving a gas contract negotiated while she was prime minister of Ukraine.
Last week Ukrainian prosecutors urged an appeals court not to hear the appeal [JURIST report]. Prosecutors told the court that Tymoshenko's trial had already established her guilt in the case, and asked the judges to let stand a seven-year prison sentence [JURIST report] in the case. Tymoshenko was not present at the hearing due to health concerns. The hearing has been delayed [JURIST report] in the past due to Tymoshenko's absence. Although Tymoshenko has previously indicated that she would discontinue all appeals in Ukrainian courts [JURIST report], she is required to exhaust all national options before appealing to the ECHR.