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Ukraine: no pardon for Tymoshenko

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Ukraine: no pardon for Tymoshenko

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Ukraine’s presidential pardon commission has said it is too soon to consider pardoning opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko as there are criminal charges against her that are still being investigated.

In 2011, the former two-time Prime Minister was given a seven year sentence for crimes related to a 2009 gas deal with Russia that President Viktor Yanukovich says saddled Ukraine with exorbitant energy prices.

Tymoshenko is also facing tax evasion and embezzlement charges and is being investigated in a murder case.

The 52-year-old, who has recently been in hospital receiving treatment for back pain,
denies all of the charges, saying they are politically motivated.

On April 25 foreign ministers from several EU countries who were visiting Ukraine said it is unlikely there will be rapid progress on free trade and political association deals with the country, citing the Tymoshenko case as one of the obstacles.