US concerned at Tymoshenko arrest, hundreds protest in Kiev

August 7, 2011 23:25

KIEV - The United States has condemned the arrest of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, jailed for contempt of court for her behavior during a trial on charges of abuse of power.

Police erected metal barriers on Sunday around a tent protest encampment of hundreds of supporters of Tymoshenko, the country's leading opposition politician, who was jailed on Friday after the judge ruled she was disrupting the trial.

The charismatic 50-year-old Tymoshenko, who brought thousands out on to the streets during the 'Orange Revolution' protests of 2004, is the fiercest opponent of President Viktor Yanukovich.

She denies charges by Ukrainian prosecutors that she illegally forced state energy company Naftogaz to sign a gas supply contract with Russia while prime minister in 2009.

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