Tymoshenko's husband granted asylum

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Tymoshenko's husband granted asylum

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The husband of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister has been granted asylum in the Czech Republic.

Oleksander Tymoshenko, who’s wife Yulia was jailed for 7 years in October for abuse of office, says officials in Kiev have stepped up the pressure on the family.

The EU and the US have denounced the ex-PM’s prosecution which has strained current President Viktor Yanukovich’s relations with the West.

A lawyer for Tymoshenko says, as yet, her daughter Yevhenia won’t be seeking asylum.

But Serhiy Vlasenko told reporters she may change her mind if Ukrainian authorities start “persecuting” her.

Tymoshenko’s supporters gathered outside her prison on Friday chanting ‘freedom to Yulia’. Two orthodox priests even conducted a Christmas service near the gates.

Her husband Oleksander has kept a low profile during his wife’s roller-coaster political career.

He already has business interests in the Czech Republic.