Ukrainian opposition leader Yuri Lutsenko has been found guilty of crimes relating to corruption and abuse of office.
On trial since last August 2011, Lutsenko denied the charges, but was sentenced to four years in prison.
A former interior minister, he heads up the Self-Defence Party, which is close to the party of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The accused man’s brother, Serhil Lutsenko, said he thought this connection was the real reason for the prosecution: “Courts in Ukraine have become politically motivated. This is a direct reprisal aimed at keeping Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko from the participating in politics.”
Lutsenko tried to send some of Viktor Yanukovych’s allies to prison after the Orange Revolution in late 2004. Now Yanukovych is president, Lutsenko’s prosecution is being seen by some as revenge.