KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 1 (UPI) --
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, suffering health problems, was absent Thursday from a preliminary hearing of an appeal of her prison sentence.
The court had a rejected a request from Tymoshenko's defense team to postpone the hearing due to her illness, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
Tymoshenko's attorney, Serhiy Vlasenko, has said the former prime minister can barely walk due to back problems, RIA Novosti said. Tymoshenko was sentenced in October to seven years in prison after being convicted of abusing her authority in a 2009 gas deal with Russia's Gazprom.
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