Fiery scenes as Tymoshenko contract killing trial begins

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Fiery scenes as Tymoshenko contract killing trial begins

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Yulia Tymoshenko has been fined for failing to appear for a hearing where she is accused of ordering a contract killing of a local businessman and parliament deputy in 1996.

There were fiery scenes as riot police ejected supporters of Ukraine’s former prime minister from the courtroom.

The public prosecutor, Ihor Pushkar, believes she got what she deserved: “She released a statement in the afternoon saying she wished to be brought to court but this was clearly an attempt to delay the trial and manipulate public opinion.”

Despite suffering from poor health because of back trouble, Tymoshenko’s lawyer says she wanted to be present.

Serhiy Vlasenko said: “Yulia Tymoshenko stated both verbally and in written form that she demands to be present at the hearing. They are afraid of Tymoshenko appearing in public. They are afraid she will discredit their witnesses.”

Tymoshenko is also facing tax evasion and embezzlement charges and has already been sentenced to seven years in jail in a separate abuse of office trial.