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Kyiv Seeks Extradition From Italy Of Tymoshenko Ally

Ukraine's prosecutor-general says he is working to secure the extradition from Italy of the former governor of Ukraine’s Kharkiv Province.

Arsen Avakov is a leader of the opposition Batkivschyna (Fatherland) party.

His arrest in Italy was confirmed by Ukraine's Interior Ministry on March 26.

Avakov has been in Europe Union since September. He is charged in Ukraine with abusing his office.

Batkivschyna's leadership on March 27 asked Italian authorities and Interpol not to extradite Avakov, saying that the case is politically motivated.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Batkivschyna’s chairwoman and a leader of Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution, was sentenced in October to seven years in prison for abuse of office in a case criticized by the United States and the European union as politically motivated.

Further charges are pending against Tymoshenko, who lost out in a presidential runoff to Viktor Yanukovych in 2010.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS