Paris Concerned By Tymoshenko Trial

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PARIS, Aug. 11 (UPI) — The French Foreign Ministry said it has serious concerns about the trial against Ukrainian opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko was sent to jail this week in connection with an ongoing trial in Kiev. She is under investigation for abuse of power in connection with a 2009 deal with Russian gas company Gazprom that ended a brief supply disruption.

The French Foreign Minister said Thursday it summoned Ukrainian Ambassador to France Olexander Kupchyshyn in frustration over the trial, Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports. Kupchyshyn was told in Paris there was “serious concern generated by the detention of Mrs. Yulia Tymoshenko and more generally of the progress of (her) trial.”

U.S. officials had expressed their concern when Tymoshenko’s trial began early this year. Washington said it felt the charges against her were politically motivated.

She lost a 2010 election battle for president against President Viktor Yanukovych.

A Kiev court rejected an appeal this week to release Tymoshenko from jail.

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