News / Europe

Supporters of Former Ukrainian PM Protest Her Arrest

Policemen arrest former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the Pecherskiy District Court in Kyiv, August 5, 2011
Policemen arrest former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the Pecherskiy District Court in Kyiv, August 5, 2011

Supporters of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko have started a sit-in outside the Kyiv courthouse to protest her arrest.

At least 100 supporters, including some members of the Ukraine parliament, pitched 30 tents Saturday and said they would maintain a vigil until authorities released the 50-year-old former leader. Ms. Tymoshenko was arrested in the courthouse on Friday and hauled off in a prison van to a detention center where she spent the night.

Ms. Tymoshenko was arrested on a contempt of court charge after she repeatedly mocked the judge and witnesses at a trial on allegations that she abused her power as prime minister. Prosecutors allege that she signed a natural gas import contract with Russia in 2009 that was not advantageous to Ukraine and cost the country $190 million.

She claims the allegations are politically motivated, an attempt by her rival, President Viktor Yanukovych, who defeated her in last year's presidential election, to keep her out of next year's parliamentary elections and the next presidential balloting in 2015.

Several Western countries voiced concern about her arrest, with Germany saying that the investigation of the previous Kyiv government "awakens a suspicion of politically motivated justice."

U.S. Senator John McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to President Barack Obama, condemned her arrest as a violation of basic rights in a democracy.

His statement on Ms. Tymoshenko's website said that "ultimately, what is at stake is the future of freedom and democracy in Ukraine."

During her trial, Ms. Tymoshenko has refused to stand when addressing the judge and mocked him with comments on the Twitter social networking site. Shortly before her arrest, the current Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Azarov, testified against her. Ms. Tymoshenko described him as a "fully certified, corrupt old man."

In a chaotic scene, her supporters in the courtroom attempted to block riot police from arresting her and later unsuccessfully sought to block the prison van from driving her to the detention center.

The judge did not say when her trial will resume.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid