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Ukraine's President Says He Can't Pardon Tymoshenko

Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych (file photo)
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych says he cannot give a pardon to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko while legal proceedings against her continue.

Yanukovych told journalists on April 11 that “the sooner they [legal proceedings] are finished, the sooner it becomes possible to address the pardon issue.”

Yanukovych was responding to questions why it was possible to give Tymoshenko’s ally, former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko, a pardon for health reasons on April 7 but not do the same for Tymoshenko, who has been receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Kharkiv since May 2012.

Tymoshenko was convicted of abuse of office in 2011 and sentenced to seven years in jail in a case that she and supporters say is politically motivated.

Western governments have also condemned the prosecution of the former heroine of the Orange Revolution that delivered a serious setback to Yanukovych and his allies in 2004-05.

She is facing new charges of fraud and tax evasion and separate charges of ordering the murder of a lawmaker in 1996.

Tymoshenko lost a runoff election for the presidency to Yanukovych in 2010.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP