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Appeals court turns down Tymoshenko appeal

•  Legal Spotlight     updated  2011/08/12 10:26

A court in Ukraine on Friday refused to consider an appeal to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from jail, where she has been kept for a week while her abuse-of-office trial proceeds.

Tymoshenko was jailed on Aug. 5 for violating court procedures at her trial, including refusing to rise when requested by the judge. She says her resistance is a protest of a trial she contends is politically motivated.

On Friday, the Kiev Appeal Court refused to hear an appeal, saying the country's criminal code does not allow appealing a preventive measure.

Tymoshenko attorney Yuriy Sukhov said that ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Tymoshenko is charged in connection with a natural gas deal with Russia in 2009 that prosecutors claim was disadvantageous to Ukraine.

The United States and the European Union have condemned court cases against Tymoshenko and several of her top allies as selective prosecution of political opponents. Tymoshenko was a key figure in the 2004 Orange Revolution protests that forced annulment of a presidential election purportedly won by Viktor Yanukovych.



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