Saturday, 13 August 2011

Tymoshenko Fears Death In Prison

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, says she is afraid she will be killed while she is in prison.
Tymoshenko, 50, expressed her fears in a statement she issued just before an appeals court in Kiev Friday turned down her request for bail, the EUobserver reported.

Tymoshenko is being tried for signing an allegedly illegal gas supply contract with Russia while she was prime minister.

She was ordered held without bail because she refused to stand before a judge and for heckling witnesses; she faces 10 years in prison if convicted.

Asked if she fears for her safety, Tymoshenko said, "Of course I do. I am aware of the Stalinist saying that you get rid of the man, you get rid of the problem. There have been too many 'accidents' in the past like the supposed suicide of former interior minister Yuriy Kravchenko, who somehow seemed to have shot himself in the head twice."

Kravchenko was found dead in March, one hour before he was to testify about the decade-old unsolved murder of a journalist.

Tymoshenko's critics said she betrayed Ukraine to Russia in return for Kremlin support, and her actions undermined Ukraine's hope of joining the European Union.

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