By Ria Novosti
A court in Kiev rejected an appeal on Thursday from jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko to be released and ordered her to serve out her term in prison, a RIA Novosti correspondent reports.
Tymoshenko was sentenced in October to seven years behind bars for abuse of office over a gas deal she concluded with Russia in 2009, a verdict internationally condemned as politically motivated.
Tymoshenko’s defense team had also appealed for a full judicial investigation of the case. It arged that the court of first instance should have carried out the investigation, but did not. However, the appeals court rejected the request.
“There are no grounds for conducting a judicial investigation at the current stage,” Judge Yelena Sitailo said.
Tymoshenko’s lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, denounced the ruling.
“We have lost the judical branch yet again,” Vlasenko said, adding that the court had not upheld any of the defense’s motions.
The judge scheduled a hearing into Tymoshenko’s appeal of the material facts of the case for December 13.
Since her conviction on the abuse of office charges, prosecutors have reopened an investigation into tax evasion dating from the second half of the 1990s, when Tymoshenko was the head of United Energy Systems of Ukraine.