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Former Ukraine Minister Granted Asylum In Czech Republic

Ukraine's Economy Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn, undated
The Czech Republic has granted political asylum to former Ukrainian Economy Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Danylshyn's lawyer, Marina Makhitkova, told RFE/RL the Czech Interior Ministry approved the asylum request on January 13. The ministry confirmed the move to CTK news agency.

Danylyshyn was arrested by Czech police -- based on an Interpol request made by Kyiv officials -- near the Ukrainian Embassy in Prague on October 18. He has been in a preliminary detention center in Prague since then.

A Prague city court must now make a decision on his release.

Ukrainian authorities accuse the former economy minister -- who served under then-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko -- of squandering almost $2 million of public funds.

Ukrainian opposition activists say the case against him is politically motivated and connected with political pressure exerted on other former members of Tymoshenko's government.

Read in Ukrainian here