KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was arrested Friday during a hearing in Kiev about abuse of office charges.
Prosecutor Lilia Frolova asked for detention, telling a judge Tymoshenko has obstructed the investigation into charges involving a 2009 gas agreement with Russia, RIA Novosti reported. Tymoshenko had been banned from leaving Kiev.
Tymoshenko’s supporters tried to stop the arrest, blocking 30 police officers who came into the courtroom as soon as the judge ordered her detained.
Tymoshenko and her supporters say the criminal case was brought because of her opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych. In addition to the gas agreement, she is charged with misusing $425 million in carbon emissions payments.
Last year Tymoshenko came close to defeating Yanukovych in the presidential election.