Ukraine court moves not to detain ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko

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The Independent Online

A Ukrainian court today dismissed a request by state prosecutors to detain former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, now standing trial for alleged abuse of office.

"(The court has ruled) to deny the motion," Judge Rodion Kireyev told the courtroom.

Tymoshenko, the fiercest opponent of President Viktor Yanukovich, has dismissed all charges against her as politically motivated and Western governments have expressed concern over her case.

Prosecutors had said a detention was needed because Tymoshenko was trying to disrupt the trial.

The prosecution accuses Tymoshenko of illegally forcing state energy firm Naftogaz to sign a gas supply deal with Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom in 2009.

"Yanukovich got too scared to arrest me," Tymoshenko wrote on her Twitter feed after the court ruling. Kireyev said the court had the means to press ahead with the trial.