Ukraine president: Ex-PM pardon on hold

KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych says he cannot consider pardoning former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko until her appeals are exhausted.

In a television interview Friday, Yanukovych said he feels obliged to follow the country's new Code of Criminal Practice, ITAR-Tass reported.


Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison late last year for allegedly abusing her powers as prime minister when she signed an agreement with the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom in 2009. Her supporters say the criminal case against her was political.

She also faces charges of tax evasion and embezzlement.

"When all the court procedures are over, we'll be able to consider the issue of pardoning," Yanukovych said. "If we do get a new procedure, it'll begin with a convict filing a plea with the president, who has a special commission for reviewing such requests. Then the issue will be taken directly to my office."

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