KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A court of appeals in Kiev might schedule a preliminary hearing for opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko as early as December, her lawyer said.
"The preliminary session may take place on December 13, but we still have not received any official notification," her lawyer, Yuriy Sukhov, was quoted on Tymoshenko's Web site as saying.
Former Prime Minister Tymoshenko lost to President Viktor Yanukovych in a bruising presidential campaign in 2010. She was sentenced to seven years in jail on charges she abused her authority in a 2009 natural gas deal with Russia's Gazprom. She faces a slew of other charges that her Western allies see as politically motivated.
Recently allegations linked Tymoshenko to the 1996 contract killing of Ukrainian lawmaker Yevhen Shcherban.
A spokeswoman for Europe's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, was quoted by the BBC as saying an October decision to delay a visit to Brussels by Yanukovych was to let Kiev know it needs "to make progress in ensuring the rule of law and independence of judiciary."
Tymoshenko denies all of the charges filed against her. Her defense team submitted an appeal Oct. 25.