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Ukrain’s Ex Prime Minister sentenced for abuse of power.


Beyondheadlines Foreign Reporter

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, of Ukrain was today convicted
on charges favoritism in gas deal. She as convicted of abuse of office
and sentenced to seven years in prison in a verdict condemned by the
U.S. and European Union as politically motivated.The court found
Tymoshenko guilty of abuse of office in the signing of a natural gas
import contract with Russia in 2009, saying she lacked an official
authorization for the deal and had agreed to a price that was too high
for Ukraine’s economy.Tymoshenko’s conviction bodes ill for Ukraine’s
aspirations to shake off Russian influence, integrate more closely
into the West, and eventually join the 27-nation European bloc.

The charismatic politician denounced the court even before the judge
finished speaking. She compared it to the 1930s purges and show trials
of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and promised Ukrainians: “I will
always be with you.”. She has maintained her innocence, saying that as
prime minister she did not need any special permission to order the
signing of the deal. She says her actions helped end a bitter pricing
dispute between Moscow and Kyiv, which had led to energy supply
shortages across Europe.

Judge Kireyev read a long summary of the case, saying she inflicted
damages of some 1.5 billion hryvna ($190 million) on the national gas
company by signing the import contract with Russia. He fined her that
amount, sentenced her to seven years in prison and banned her from
occupying government posts for three years after the end of her prison

Tymoshenko, he said, used her power as prime minister “for criminal
ends and, acting consciously, committed actions which clearly exceeded
the limits of rights and powers.”


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