Tymoshenko appeal postponed for third time | News | DW | 12.07.2012
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Tymoshenko appeal postponed for third time

Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko must wait another five weeks for her appeal against her imprisonment to be heard. The country's high court postponed her hearing in anticipation of medical exam results.

The Ukrainian high court on Thursday postponed the appeal of imprisoned former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko for a third time, as it awaits the results of a medical examination to determine whether she can attend her hearing.

Tymoshenko's appeal hearing was pushed back five weeks to August 16. The former prime minister is challenging her October 2011 conviction of abuse of power. She was sentenced to seven years in prison and has threatened to take her case before the European Court of Human Rights.

Tymoshenko has slammed her conviction as an attempt by her arch-rival, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, to silence dissent by effectively eliminating her from political life.

The European Union has taken Tymoshenko's side, calling the trial and conviction politically motivated. Brussels has suspended agreements with Ukraine on free trade and political ties in response.

List of charges

Her abuse of power conviction stems from allegations that she brokered a gas deal with Russia in 2009 which burdened Ukraine with exorbitant prices. She now faces another trial, due to restart on July 23, in which she is accused of embezzlement and tax evasion during her work as a businesswoman in the 1990s.

The former prime minister is currently receiving treatment for back pain at a hospital in Kharkiv, where she is in the care of German doctors. Tymoshenko has refused to receive treatment from Ukrainian doctors out of concern for safety.

Tymoshenko was one of the leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution, which overturned Yanukovic's fraudulent electoral victory, sweeping pro-Western forces to power in Kyiv. But Tymoshenko lost the 2010 presidential election to Yanukovich, which was declared free and fair by international observers.

slk/msh (AFP, Reuters)