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Tymoshenko, Citing Health Troubles, To Skip New Trial

Yulia Tymoshenko in a 2010 photo
Ukraine's jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will not appear in court on June 15 for a trial on new tax evasion charges.

Ukrainian state penetentiary officials said that Tymoshenko asked to be excused from the hearing in Kharkiv after German doctors said her health would suffer if she was moved from a hospital in the city where she is currently receiving treatment for back pain.

Nor is it clear if she will attend a second trial in the capital, Kyiv, the following day to appeal her current seven-year sentence in a Kharkiv prison on abuse-of-office charges.

The trials come in the final week of the Euro 2012 soccer championship, which Ukraine is co-hosting.

A number of European officials have boycotted their country's Ukraine matches in protest over Tymoshenko's treatment.

Based on reporting by dpa, Interfax, and Reuters