She made a fortune in the natural gas trading business under the patronage of ex-Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, in power from 1996-1997. Lazarenko is now serving a prison sentence in the United States after being convicted on money-laundering charges.
With Tymoshenko’s enemies back in power, not least among them Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and gas tycoon Dmytro Firtash, Ukrainian prosecutors seem determined to keep her locked up in prison far beyond the seven-year term she received on Oct. 11.
Here’s a roundup of her legal troubles, which she and many others in Ukraine and internationally say amount to political persecution rather than a genuine attempt to root out corruption. Even though some of the accusations go back to the 1990s, investigators say the statute of limitations has not expired.