There were protests in the Ukrainian parliament after it voted against changing a law which could have led to the freeing of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Her supporters were angry at the refusal to decriminalise the abuse-of-power offence under which Tymoshenko has been jailed.
They had attempted to use precepts accepted in international law.
Ivan Kyrylenko, leader of Tymoshenko’s BYuT parliamentary party was outraged: “We rewrote word for word the article from the UN convention’s text, without changing any comma, any dash or any full stop. We consider it applicable. But it was not voted for.”
The EU sees Tymoshenko’s prosecution as politically motivated by her arch rival, President Viktor Yanukovych, and they want to see her jail term quashed. Yanukovych said it was not up to him. “Things move on and today we cannot predict how it will end. Therefore the answer to this question can only be given by courts,” said the president.
Tymoshenko and her supporters outside the jail where she is due to spend the next seven years say they will apply to the European Court of Human rights to get her conviction thrown out.