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Ex-Ukrainian Premier Says Yanukovych 'Killed Ukrainian Justice'

Yulia Tymoshenko addresses the media before her court hearing in Kyiv on May 11.
Yulia Tymoshenko addresses the media before her court hearing in Kyiv on May 11.
KYIV -- Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says her actions while in office were legal and that President Viktor Yanukovych has "killed Ukrainian justice," RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Tymoshenko, the leader of the opposition Fatherland party, spoke to RFE/RL during a break in court hearings in Kyiv on her request for the financial-abuse charges made against her to be dropped.

The charges are connected to her signing of natural-gas contracts with Russia.

Tymoshenko, 50, was prime minister in 2005 and 2007-10.

She told RFE/RL the documents that served as the basis for the charges against her "prove that the whole case was a [political] order and was, in fact, politically motivated."

"I am fully confident that all my activities as prime minister were legal," Tymoshenko said.

"We do not believe in Ukrainian justice, we do not trust Ukrainian courts, because all of them are now controlled by the president's office, but we have to go through all levels of Ukraine's judicial system in order to be able to appeal to international courts," she said.

"There is, unfortunately, no such a thing as Ukrainian justice. Because President Yanukovych has killed it."

Tymoshenko said she and her lawyers wanted today's court session to be open to journalists, but it took place behind closed doors.

"That is further proof that the case [against me] is politically motivated," Tymoshenko told RFE/RL.

Read more in Ukrainian here