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Court rejects petition to release former Ukrainian PM Tymoshenko


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Court rejects petition to release former Ukrainian PM Tymoshenko

2011-08-11 03:54:27 GMT+7 (ICT)

KIEV (BNO NEWS) -- A court in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Wednesday decided to keep former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko under arrest, the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency reported.

Rodion Kireyev, a judge at the Pechersky District Court who is presiding the case, rejected a petition by Tymoshenko's lawyer to release her from custody. Kireyev had already rejected three petitions on changing the measure of restraint against the former premier.

Tymoshenko was arrested on August 5 during a court hearing over charges of abuse of power in connection with a 2009 gas deal with Russia. She says the charges against her are politically motivated.

The arrest came after prosecutor Lilia Frolova asked the court to keep Tymoshenko, who had only faced travel restrictions, in custody, saying that she had obstructed the investigation into the case.

The former prime minister is accused of illegally forcing state energy company Naftogaz to sign a gas supply contract with Russian gas company Gazprom in 2009, which the state says required approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. The agreement ended a three-week standoff between Russia and Ukraine over the price of natural gas.

Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, has criticized her trial as an attempt by President Viktor Yanukovych, who narrowly beat her in the presidential election in February 2010, to bar her from future elections.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-08-11

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