Kiev court refuses to release Ukraine’s former prime minister

KIEV, August 18 (Itar-Tass) —— Kiev’s Pechersky District Court once again rejected to release former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party leader Yulia Timoshenko from custody. The ruling was voiced by Judge Rodion Kireyev on Thursday.

The next session on Timoshenko’s “gas case” will be held on August 22.

Earlier in the day, the court considered a number of appeals to ease the restrictive measure against Timoshenko. Thus, public, human rights and religious organizations asked the court to release her against their word of honour, while a citizen Vladimir Vergun offere a bail of one million hrivnas (125,000 U.S. dollars).

“I think Yulia Vladimirovna (Timoshenko) will be able to better prepare for interrogation outside the detention centre,” her lawyer Yuri Sukhov said.

Prosecutors said they want doctors to examine Timoshenko, after which they will take a decision whether to ease the restrictive measure or not. As for the bail, they said its sum may not be less than the sum of damages done by the former prime minister to the national economy.

Timoshenko is facing charges of abuse of office while making gas agreements with Russia in 2009.

The prosecution has accused Timoshenko of acting in excess of her powers and giving directives for signing a gas contract with Russia in 2009 without the government’s consent. As a result, gas prices in Ukraine increased, but the tariff for transit, pegged to the price of gas, did not change, which caused damage to the budget in the amount of about 200 million U.S. dollars.

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