Prosecutors in Ukraine want 7 years in jail for former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko over a gas deal with Russia.
She is accused of exceeding her authority while negotiating the agreement.
Her supporters protested in front of the court in Kiev on Tuesday. They say the charges are politically motivated. Sergey Vlasenko is Tymoshenko’s lawyer. He said “It is a hundred per cent political and the outcome of this case totally depends on the president of Ukraine, nobody else. It’s hard to predict what the outcome will be, but if the president listens to the EU, than the decision will be in favour of Tymoschenko.”
Both the US and the EU have raised concerns over the legitimacy of the trial which resumed on Tuesday after a seven week break.
A short distance away from the court, people gathered in support of the government. They claim the trial is legitimate and that Tymoshenko must answer like anyone else. This is what politician Oleg Kalashnikov had to say:
“Our president first of all is the guarantor of the constitution, and according to the constitution of Ukraine the judiciary is an independent power and our president today shares those citizens’ point of view that a thief in our country, or any European country, should go to jail.”
Tymoshenko is the most popular opposition figure in Ukraine and the trial has divided the country.