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Ukraine: Court Allows Tymoshenko To Campaign Outside Kyiv

Kyiv, 25 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Ukrainian Supreme Court has allowed political opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko to leave Kyiv in order to campaign ahead of March parliamentary elections. Oleksandr Turchenov, a member of Tymoshenko's center-right coalition, said the decision was made earlier in February to temporarily overturn a ban which barred her from leaving the capital. He said the decision was only announced today due to fear that authorities would place pressure on the Supreme Court to change the ruling.

In April, the Prosecutor-General's Office barred Tymoshenko from leaving the Kyiv area while they investigate charges of bribery, smuggling, and forgery.

Tymoshenko was sacked by President Leonid Kuchma from the post of deputy prime minister in January 2001 after the inquiry started. She has said the charges are politically motivated.

Turchenov said Tymoshenko left Kyiv early today to visit four regions as part of her election campaign for the 31 March poll.