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U.S. Embassy Condemns Jailing Of Former Ukraine Minister

Valeriy Ivashchenko in a Kyiv district court last year
The United States has condemned the five-year prison term handed down to a former Ukrainian defense minister who served under the jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Valeriy Ivashchenko was sentenced on April 12 for abuse of office when he served as acting defense minister in 2009-10.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv on April 13 called the verdict the "latest example of selective justice."

Ivashchenko said the sentence was "illegal and unfair."

He was arrested in August 2010 and has been in custody since.

Former Prime Minister Tymoshenko is currently serving a seven-year prison term for abuse of office, a charge she denies.