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Yanukovich faces pressure over trial of ex-PM

Yanukovich faces pressure over trial of ex-PM
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The trial of former Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been adjourned until October 11th.

The ex-leader is charged with abuse of office in relation to a 2009 gas deal with Russia.

Tymoshenko claims that the trial is a vendetta by her arch-rival President Vicktor Yanukovich, who’s relations with the EU have suffered because of the case.

“This worries representatives from some European countries,” Yanukovich told reporters on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Poland.

“Well the trial is not over yet and the court is an independent institution in our country. I wouldn’t like to comment on it (the case) because it could be seen as putting pressure on the court or law enforcement authorities,” added the Ukranian President.

Hundreds of Tymoshenko supporters have camped outside the courtroom over the past few months.

State prosecutors have requested a seven-year prison sentence for the ex-PM who is accused of forcing through a gas deal with Moscow to the detriment of her homeland.

But political commentators think the delay was designed to give Yanukovich a chance to consider pressure from the West and reclassify the law to let Tymoshenko go free.