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Tymoshenko faces new charges

Tymoshenko faces new charges
Ukraine prosecutors said they're opening a criminal investigation of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. (UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov) | License Photo

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Ukraine prosecutors said they're opening a criminal investigation of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

ITAR-Tass reported the Prosecutor-General's Office reopened the investigation in which Tymoshenko was accused of stealing $3.1 million and not paying taxes of $2.5 million.

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The case had been dropped in 2005.

Tymoshenko was sentenced this month to seven years in prison after being convicted of abuse of office in awarding gas contracts to Russia in 2009.

The European Union and the United States have said Tymoshenko's sentence for exceeding her authority was a politically motivated and selective use of the judicial system.

She has appealed.

Sergey Vlasenko, head of the group of lawyers defending Tymoshenko, said Tuesday her appeal is being rushed.

"Pressure is being exerted on judges of the Court of Appeal," Vlasenko said. "They are being forced to hear the case in accordance with the accelerated procedure, without the interrogation of witnesses and the examination of pieces of evidence."

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