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Trial Resumes Of Former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko


Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko arrives at court on August 5.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko arrives at court on August 5.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has criticized the country's prosecutors as serving a "machine of repression" as her trial on abuse-of-office charges resumed in Kyiv.

Tymoshenko was placed in police detention on August 5 for contempt of court after refusing to cooperate with the judge and denouncing him as a "puppet" of President Viktor Yanukovych, her political opponent.

Andriy Shkil, a legislator from her party, called the trial politically motivated. "We are facing a question of choice -- will democracy survive or not?" he asked.

"We could not even imagine how [democracy] could be stopped or slowed down, but the truth is that the reversal of the democratic process in Ukraine has begun with the arrest of the leader of the opposition."

Tymoshenko, a leader of the pro-Western Orange Revolution in 2004, is charged with abuse of power over gas deals she signed with Russia in 2009. She denies the charges.

Four former Soviet Bloc countries -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia -- condemned Tymoshenko's imprisonment on August 9, saying it was "inadequate to the charges."

The U.S. State Department has called for her immediate release.

compiled from agency reports

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