Tymoshenko expelled from courtroom over ‘insult’

The judge presiding over hearings into abuse of office charges against former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko ordered her to leave the courtroom on Wednesday after ruling that she had insulted him.

Tymoshenko described the judge, Rodion Kireyev, as a “non-human” after police expelled opposition lawmakers Mikhailo Kosiyev and Yevgeny Suslov from the courtroom for “violating court order.”

“The court has ruled to remove the defendant (Tymoshenko) from the courtroom for one hearing over her repeated and serious violations of court order despite several warnings,” Kireyev said.

Tymoshenko, who moved to the opposition after loosing the premiership following a vote of no confidence in March 2010, is charged with abuse of power while signing a “disadvantageous” gas deal with Russia in 2009 that Ukraine says has badly affected its economy.

She is also charged in two separate cases with misusing $425 million that her government received in 2009 from the selling of its carbon emission rights under the Kyoto protocol and another $120,000 for purchasing ambulance cars at excessive prices.

Tymoshenko has dismissed the charges as political, saying she is being targeted for standing up to President Viktor Yanukovych, who beat her in the presidential election in February 2010.

She has filed a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights.

If convicted of the charges, the heroine of the 2004 Orange Revolution may be jailed for up to 10 years.

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