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Ex-Ukrainian PM's arrest termed illegal

Published: 01st May 2013 10:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2013 10:57 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that the arrest of Ukraine’s ex-prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in 2011 was unlawful.

The court held that "Tymoshenko's pre-trial detention had been arbitrary" and that "the lawfulness of her detention had not been properly reviewed," according to a press release issued by the court.

Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) political party, remains in prison after being sentenced to seven years in October 2011 for exceeding her authority by signing a gas supply deal with Russia in 2009.

The court did not, however, uphold Tymoshenko’s complaints of alleged physical mistreatment and did not address the applicant’s main complaint that her arrest was politically motivated.

The EU and state leaders have expressed their concern over her conviction, which they see as retaliation to her political opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych, honorary head of the Party of Regions.

The party is is mostly supported by inhabitants of Ukraine's Russian-speaking south and east.

A spokesperson for Ukrainian foreign ministry said Ukraine’s representative in the European court will consider the decision and announce the country’s position later.

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