Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ukraine's Tymoshenko Formally Charged After 11-Hour Interrogation

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was formally charged with abuse of office on Thursday at the end of an 11-hour police interrogation.
She stands accused of misappropriating government money.

A team of prosecutors in Kiev interrogated Tymoshenko, Ukraine's leading opposition politician, from shortly after midday (1000 GMT) to midnight (2200 GMT).

Police refused her written request to end the questioning at the nine-hour mark. It was her sixth day of interrogation at the prosecutor general's office.

Officials in Ukraine's pro-Russia government since mid-November had alleged Tymoshenko violated the law by transferring as much as 400 million dollars in carbon credit payments to cover a national pension fund gap in 2009.

Prosecutors had repeatedly alleged Tymoshenko, at the time engaged in a fierce and ultimately unsuccessful election campaign, shifted the funds to increase her popularity.

She has denied all wrongdoing, and accused the government of pursuing a political vendetta against here.

'I believe this case is to prevent me from running in future elections,' she said, according to an Interfax news agency report.

A leading figure in Ukraine's 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution, Tymoshenko served as prime minister from 2004 to 2009.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych defeated her in a 2009 election. He has said his government is dedicated to eliminating corruption in high office.

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