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Ukraine's president watching appeal

Ukraine's president watching appeal
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov) | License Photo

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has hinted the prison sentence given to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko could be reduced.

Yanukovych is facing international pressure because a Ukrainian court Tuesday sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for abusing her power in a deal with Russian gas company Gazprom in 2009.

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Yanukovych said the Tymoshenko case is not yet over, RIA Novosti reported Thursday. The Ukrainian president said the verdict will be appealed and parliament is considering amendments that could affect her conviction.

"If the relevant laws are passed, the court will take them into account," Yanukovych said.

U.S. officials have called on Ukrainian leaders to release the opposition leader, saying the charges and subsequent trial raise "serious concerns" about Ukraine's commitment to democracy.

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