Former Tymoshenko administration faces charges over 'misused' carbon funds

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Ukraine's state prosecutor has launched a criminal case relating to the alleged misuse by the previous Julia Tymoshenko government of about £190m received for selling carbon quotas.

The prosecutor's office said that 2.3 billion hryvnias, received in 2009 for selling carbon emission rights under the Kyoto agreement, had been misused by the former cabinet and the finance ministry. "A criminal case for violation of budget legislation and abuse of authority was launched on 28 April," a statement said. It did not mention Ms Tymoshenko by name. The action had caused "serious consequences for Ukraine's state interests".

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov accused the Tymoshenko government of massive misuse of budget funds, including money received for selling carbon quotas to Japan. He suggested much of the money had funded Ms Tymoshenko's unsuccessful election campaign against President Viktor Yanukovich.

Ms Tymoshenko, who lost a bitterly fought run-off in February, denied Mr Azarov's charges. "I am even happy that today Azarov is preparing a criminal action against me. Come closer and then we'll see who wins," she said.