August 29, 2012 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:
“Canada is deeply disappointed by the decision of the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases to uphold the conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko. The conduct of the trials that have led to such prosecutions raises serious concerns about Ukraine’s commitment to internationally recognized norms of fairness, transparency and due process.
“Like previous, apparently politically motivated persecutions, this verdict is part of a troubling trend that undermines the institutions upon which a peaceful, prosperous and democratic society depends.
“I call on the Ukrainian government to strengthen judicial independence.
“A legitimate and active opposition is a vital part of a vibrant and effective democracy. Canada stands with the people of Ukraine as they seek to build a nation founded on the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”