US supports Tymoshenko in face of fresh accusations

Wed, Jan 23, 2013, 00:00

The United States sent a message of support to jailed former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, ignoring new accusations against her by Ukrainian authorities relating to the killing of a business rival 16 years ago.

Tymoshenko is already serving a seven-year jail sentence for abuse of office meted out in October 2011 after a trial which was said to have smacked of selective justice. Authorities have since piled up fresh charges against the 52-year-old politician, the most serious being last Friday when Ukraine’s chief prosecutor said she was also suspected of ordering the contract killing of a parliamentary deputy and businessman in 1996.

Tymoshenko was the heroine of street protests in 2004 which overturned the old post-Soviet order.