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Tymoshenko To Boycott 'Shameful' Appeal Process

Supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko hold pictures of the opposition leader during a rally in front of a court in Kyiv on December 20.
Ukraine's jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says she will boycott the "shameful" appeal process against her seven-year jail sentence.

The jailed opposition leader said in a statement that the process had become a "horror show" and accused President Viktor Yanukovych of "completely" destroying the justice system.

Her legal team confirmed that they would not be attending the hearings in the future.

The appeal process is apparently due to continue at the Kyiv appeals court in the absence of any representatives of the defense.

Tymoshenko was sentenced in October for abuse of power while prime minister, in a case that was launched just months after she lost a close election to Yanukovych.

The EU warned Yanukovych on December 19 that the signing of an agreement taking Kyiv a step closer to membership of the bloc depended on Tymoshenko's release.

compiled from agency reports