Ukraine Court Postpones Tymoshenko Appeal Hearing

Posted June 26th, 2012 at 12:35 pm (UTC-5)
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A Ukraine court has again delayed an appeal by jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of her seven-year prison sentence for abuse of power.

Ukraine's High Court on Tuesday granted a prosecutor's motion for the hearing to be postponed until a medical examination is done to assess whether she is fit for trial. It set the next hearing for July 12.

Tymoshenko's lawyer Sergei Vlasenko objected to the delay, saying the decision was an attempt by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to delay the case from going to the European Court of Human Rights.

“The prosecutor just announced the motion with no legal grounds, even not naming the norm of the law, which is the legal basis for that motion.”

Tymoshenko, who is receiving medical treatment for a back problem, did not attend Tuesday's hearing.

She was convicted of abuse of power for a 2009 gas deal she brokered with Russia while serving as prime minister. Mr. Yanukovych's government says the deal saddled the government with excessive debt.

Tymoshenko and her supporters, along with the EU and the United States, say the charges were politically motivated and an attempt by Mr. Yanukovych to remove his strongest political rival ahead of October's election.

On Monday, a court in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv postponed her trial on separate charges of tax evasion.