2 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A Kyiv appeals court today ordered that a top Ukrainian regional official be released pending his trial on condition that he does not leave Ukraine.
Boris Kolesnikov, head of the regional assembly in the eastern Donetsk region, had been held in custody since 6 April on extortion charges.
Critics of Ukraine's new leadership -- including former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych -- claim the charges are politically motivated.
The 42-year-old Kolesnikov, who supported Yanukovych during last year's troubled presidential campaign, is accused of blackmailing a Donetsk businessman.
His lawyers today welcomed the court's decision.
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