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Tymoshenko Remains In Custody After Court Ruling

A supporter of Yulia Tymoshenko holds her picture during a rally outside an appeal court in Kyiv on August 12.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is to remain in custody after a court refused to hear her appeal against police detention.

Tymoshenko is on trial for alleged abuse of power over a gas deal she signed with Russia in 2009.

Tymoshenko, who narrowly lost to President Viktor Yanukovych in a 2010 election, says the charges are politically motivated.

On August 5, a court ordered her detained for contempt of court. Her lawyers had appealed the ruling, arguing it was unlawful.

The higher court said on August 12 there were no legal grounds to take up the appeal.

The United States and the European Union have called on Ukrainian authorities to release Tymoshenko while she is on trial, but Yanukovych on August 11 said he would not intervene.

Tymoshenko's lawyer described today's court ruling as "summary justice," and her supporters greeted it with cries of "Shame!"

Tymoshenko herself was not present at the hearing.

compiled from agency reports