The United States has issued a new call for Ukrainian authorities to review the arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and consider immediately releasing her from prison.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Tymoshenko's arrest "raises questions about the application of the rule of law in Ukraine and continues to contribute to the appearance of politically motivated prosecutions" in Ukraine.
The statement was issued after a judge on August 8 refused to free Tymoshenko from police detention.
The Regions Party of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, however, has rejected Western criticism of Tymoshenko's arrest, questioning her portrayal as a "defender of democracy."
Tymoshenko was placed in police detention on August 5 for contempt of court after refusing to cooperate with the judge and denouncing him as a "puppet" of Yanukovych, her political opponent.
Tymoshenko, a leader of the pro-Western Orange Revolution in 2004, is on trial on charges of abuse of power over gas deals she signed with Russia in 2009.
She has denied the charges.
compiled from agency reports