Ukraine refuses to free ex-PM before Independence Day

August 23, 2011 20:14


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KIEV - A Ukrainian court on Tuesday refused to release former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko from police custody during her trial on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Ukrainian independence.

The detention of Tymoshenko, ordered on Aug. 5 by the judge because of her alleged disruptive behavior in court, elicited sharp criticism from the United States and the European Union, which see her trial as politically motivated.Tymoshenko, on trial for abuse of office during her time as prime minister, had requested parole for two days to be able to visit her mother in the east of the country and celebrate with her Ukraine's independence anniversary. Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union is celebrated on Aug. 24.

Tymoshenko's press service said the court's judge had refused her plea. "The court has decided to refuse Tymoshenko's request," it quoted judge Rodion Kireyev as saying.

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