Ukraine's Tymoshenko Ordered Out Of Courtroom

KIEV, Ukraine -- A judge barred Ukraine's opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and her defence team from attending her abuse of power trial Friday over her "disrespectful" attitude towards the court in Kiev.

Yulia Tymoshenko could face a 10-year prison sentence if she loses her abuse of power trial.

The decision by judge Rodion Kireev came a day after he was involved in heated courtroom exchanges with the former prime minister who has refused from the start of her trial in June to stand up in his presence.

"Your disrespectful behaviour has become a drag on this whole process," the judge said before telling her to leave the court.

The trial has been dogged by delays since it opened on June 24 and Tymoshenko has frequently accused the judge of being in the pay of her arch enemy, President Viktor Yanukovych.

The former premier, known as the "Iron Lady", is accused of abuse of power over a contract she signed with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after a brief interruption of gas deliveries from Russia in early 2009.

She denies the charges, which could land her a 10-year prison sentence, and in turn accuses Yanukovych of political repression against her.

The United States expressed concern at the start of her trial last month that it appeared to be politically motivated, a criticism that Yanukovych has stoutly rejected.

Source: AFP


Lowell said…
Nothing but a kangaroo court. I used to have some respect for this country and its leadership for attempting to establish a true democracy. But this current group of leaders are worthless. And the judicial system is a total farce of puppets on strings. I pray the country and its citizens will find their way to democracy; but, I am beginning to lose my optimism.