KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 8 (UPI) — Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will remain under arrest following a judge’s denial Monday of her petition for release on bail.
Tymoshenko, facing abuse-of-power charges, was arrested Friday on a petition from prosecutors who accused her of disrupting courtroom proceedings repeatedly, RIA Novosti reported.
“The motion does not contain information indicating that the need for the chosen measure of restraint in the form of arrest has disappeared,” Judge Rodion Kireyev said in his ruling.
Tymoshenko is accused of harming Ukraine’s national interests by signing “unfair” gas supply contracts with Russia while she was prime minister in 2009. She has denied the allegations.
Interfax-Ukraine said she has ignored courtroom procedures during hearings by refusing to stand when addressing the judge, calling him a “puppet” of President Viktor Yanukovych, her political opponent.
Kireyev changed the measure of restraint from a travel ban to arrest at the prosecution’s behest on Friday. Interfax-Ukraine said the prosecution sought Tymoshenko’s arrest after Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was questioned as a witness in the matter.
The petition for release was backed by Ukrainian human right ombudsman Nina Karpacheva, RIA Novosti said.
The United States and the European Union have criticized her detention.