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Tymoshenko loses appeal against jail sentence

Tymoshenko loses appeal against jail sentence
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Former Ukrainian prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has lost her appeal against abuse-of-office charges.

In a case that has soured ties with the west, a court in Kiev has upheld her conviction and the seven-year jail sentence imposed.

It means Tymoshenko is unlikely to be released from prison in the near future.

The 51-year-old, who opposed President Viktor Yanukovich in a 2010 election, has denied any wrongdoing.

She claims the charges brought against her were politically motivated.

A case has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights, which is expected to be fast tracked.

The jailing of Tymoshenko has torpedoed relations with the EU.

It has put off signing agreements on political association and free trade with Ukraine, citing the opposition leader’s case as an example of selective justice.

Earlier this week, President Yanukovich said it was down to the courts to decide Tymoshenko’s fate.