Ukraine Judge Denies Bail for Opposition Leader Tymoshenko

Posted September 1st, 2011 at 2:31 am (UTC-5)
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A Ukrainian judge has denied bail for former Ukrainian prime minister and opposition Batkivschina party leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been in custody since early August.

Ms. Tymoshenko's corruption trial is set to resume Thursday in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. She is charged with abusing her powers by signing a 2009 gas contract with Russia without the government's endorsement.

She was jailed during the trial for violating court procedures.

Her case has gained international attention. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John McCain issued a joint statement with the European People's Party president Wilifried Martens calling for Ukrainian officials to release Ms. Tymoshenko.

The statement says Ms. Tymoshenko's trial is reminiscent of when the Soviet Union ruled Ukraine. They said the trial is increasingly seen as selective prosecution of members of the opposition in Ukraine.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman says Washington wants to ensure that this case is not politically motivated.