AS UKRAINE’S glamorous opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko languishes in jail, critics of her trial grow ever louder and more prominent, with leading European Union politicians and even the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu joining their ranks in recent days.
Several members of her pro-western administration have also been arrested and put on trial since Tymoshenko lost a presidential vote last year to Viktor Yanukovich, the man whose fraudulent election “victory” was overturned by the 2004 Orange Revolution she helped lead. Constant squabbling between Tymoshenko and her supposed allies paralysed reform and Ukraine’s push for greater integration with the EU, and allowed Yanukovich to recover from his humiliation and take power 18 months ago.
Tymoshenko could be imprisoned for 10 years if found guilty of forcing Ukraine’s state gas firm to sign an unfavourable deal with Russia while she was serving as prime minister.
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