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Tymoshenko Summons Postponed

Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko shows reporters a summon for a May 17 meeting with investigators, as she leaves the general prosecutor's office in Kyiv on May 12.
Ukrainian justice officials have postponed a summons for former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to appear for questioning about a six-year-old bribery case.

Tymoshenko was due to meet with investigators on May 17. The newspaper "Ukrainska Pravda" reports that the delay resulted from one of the investigators being called away on an "urgent official trip." No new date for the meeting with investigators has been named.

On May 12, prosecutors reopened the May 2004 case against Tymoshenko, which was closed in June 2005.

Tymoshenko has always claimed that politics was behind the case, which alleged that she attempted to pay judges $125,000 to free her assistants who were being tried for corruption. Tymoshenko has long insisted that the case was fabricated by former President Leonid Kuchma, a Yanukovych ally, as part of a political vendetta.

Tymoshenko has accused President Viktor Yanukovich, who defeated her in a bitterly fought election in February, of being behind the summons and of conducting "open repression" against her.

Tymoshenko stepped down as prime minister after losing the election. She has since emerged as a fierce critic of Yanukovych, particularly his moves to bring Ukraine closer to Russia.

If Tymoshenko's meeting with investigators had gone ahead on May 17 as planned, it would have coincided, uncomfortably for Ukrainian authorities, with the arrival of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on a two-day official visit.

compiled from agency reports