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Tymoshenko loses appeal against prison sentence

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Tymoshenko loses appeal against prison sentence


Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has lost her appeal against abuse of office charges.

The ruling, in Kiev, means her seven-year jail sentence stands and she will not be released in the near future.

The case has soured Ukraine’s ties with the west.

As a fierce critic of President Viktor Yanukovich, Tymoshenko’s backers claim she is the victim of a “personal vendetta.”

“After this decision, President Yanukovich stops being a president, he becomes a dictator of the criminal regime,” said supporter Oleksandr Turchynov.

Tymoshenko was sentenced for overstepping her authority while negotiating a gas contract with Russia in 2009.

She denies any wrongdoing.

A case has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights, which is expected to be fast-tracked.

The EU and America have condemned Tymoshenko’s detention and demanded her release.

The European Union this week refused to sign a key partnership deal with Ukraine because of the case.

President Yanukovich has said it is down to the courts to decide Tymoshenko’s fate.

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