Judge deliberates in Tymoshenko trial

Sept. 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A judge was deliberating the fate of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is accused of abuse of office in a costly 2009 gas deal with Russia.

Prosecutors said she exceeded her authority in signing the deal, which ended up costing the country millions of dollars.

Before adjourning the trial Friday, Judge Rodion Kireyev told the court he would allow only journalists to be present when the verdict is announced Oct. 11, RIA Novosti reported.

Supporters say they fear the judge's announcement means he plans to find her guilty.

Tymoshenko has said the charges are politically motivated She said Thursday she does not expect to be acquitted.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, facing Western pressure over the case, has introduced a bill that would ban imprisonment for economic crimes by public officials, the report said.

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