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Ukraine prosecutors combine criminal cases against former PM Tymoshenko

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) [official website, in Ukrainian] has combined two separate criminal cases [press release, in Ukrainian] and concluded the pre-trial investigation of opposition leader and former primer minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive]. Tymoshenko was called in for questioning Monday by the PGO and was presented with the charges. The proceedings lasted about two hours before the PGO concluded the pre-trial investigation. The combined cases against Tymoshenko include charges initiated in December for allegedly misappropriating state funds during her time as prime minister from 2007-2010 and new charges in January alleging that she abused her authority and exceeded her official duties [JURIST reports] while in office by purchasing "1000 Opel Combo" medical vans at a 20 percent mark-up. Tymoshenko says the vans were successful in providing medical services to rural villages. She also criticized the speed [press release, in Ukrainian] at which the charges were processed, claiming they are politically motivated.

Tymoshenko's government was dissolved last March after she narrowly lost the presidential election to Viktor Yanukovych [official website, in Ukrainian]. The current combined case against her is not the first time she has been prosecuted. Last May, prosecutors reopened a separate criminal investigation [JURIST report] into allegations that Tymoshenko attempted to bribe Supreme Court judges. The probe was initiated in May 2004 and then suspended [JURIST report] in June 2005. Last February, Tymoshenko withdrew a lawsuit [JURIST reports] filed in the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine claiming that the country's presidential election was corrupt. Tymoshenko had alleged that widespread voter fraud allowed Yanukovych to win the election.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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