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Tymoshenko Lawyer's Trial Adjourned

Serhiy Vlasenko, the attorney of Yulia Tymoshenko, attending a hearing in early December. Someone had splashed him with a green medical solution before the appearance.
A hearing in a spousal-abuse case against Serhiy Vlasenko, the lawyer for jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has been adjourned until January 10.

The decision was taken due to the absence of Vlasenko's attorney.

Several dozen opposition supporters rallied outside the Kyiv courthouse during the hearing.

Vlasenko is accused of beating his former wife in a case the opposition says is politically motivated.

He told reporters after the hearing, "I am only here because I am on Yulia Tymoshenko's defense team."

Vlasenko was released by prosecutors in November after posting bail of 23,000 hryvna ($2,800).

The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office said in November that Vlasenko was suspected of "repeatedly causing bodily harm and willfully perpetrating acts of violence against his ex-wife," Natalia Okunska.

Vlasenko has dismissed the accusations as absurd and says they are aimed at depriving Tymoshenko -- a rival of President Viktor Yanukovych -- of competent defense.

Tymoshenko was jailed in 2011 for seven years on abuse-of-office charges also seen by the West as politically motivated, with further, unrelated charges pending.

Her jailing remains a major source of friction between Kyiv and Brussels.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP