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Ukrainian Justice Minister: Tymoshenko Sentence Should Be Reduced


Yulia Tymoshenko listens as the judge reads the verdict on her case in a district court in Kyiv on October 11.

Yulia Tymoshenko listens as the judge reads the verdict on her case in a district court in Kyiv on October 11.

Ukraine's justice minister says the seven-year prison sentence handed to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko should be reduced.

Speaking in Kyiv, Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrinovych defended the ruling against Tymoshenko as fair, but argued she received a harsher sentence than appropriate because that was the minimum allowed by Ukraine's Criminal Code.

Lavrinovych said the solution would be for parliament to make changes to laws that classify acts similar to Tymoshenko's "a political rather than criminal violation," with lesser penalties for political violations.

Lavrinovych's comments came in the wake of a flood of international criticism of Ukraine for the Tymoshenko trial and its outcome.

Meanwhile, Tymoshenko's lawyer, Yuriy Sukhov, said she would appeal the verdict next week.

compiled from agency reports
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