Former Ukrainian PM Arrested During Trial

Posted August 6th, 2011 at 7:00 am (UTC-5)
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Ukrainian police have arrested former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko for violating court procedures during her abuse of power trial.

A judge accused Ms. Tymoshenko Friday of systematically disrupting the trial. She was then handcuffed and taken away by several officers. Ms. Tymoshenko has mocked the judge during the trial.

U.S. Senator John McCain condemned her arrest as a violation of basic rights in a democracy.

His statement on Ms. Tymoshenko's website also said “ultimately, what is at stake is the future of freedom and democracy in Ukraine”.

The former prime minister's supporters set up tents near the Kyiv courthouse Saturday. They have called for continuous demonstrations as a show of solidarity with Ms. Tymoshenko, who is leader of the opposition Batkivschyna party.

She is on trial to face charges of overstepping her authority as prime minister in 2009 by orchestrating a natural gas deal with Russia that lost several million dollars.

The European Union opposed Ms. Tymoshenko's arrest and has condemned the case against her as being politically motivated because she is an opposition leader.

The judge did not say when her trial will resume.