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Ukraine ex-PM Tymoshenko goes on trial

25 june 2011, 12:48
©RIA Novosti
©RIA Novosti
Ukraine's ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Friday went on trial for alleged abuse of power, in a case she has dismissed as revenge by President Viktor Yanukovych, AFP reports.

Tymoshenko, wearing a cream-colored suit and holding a pink rose, entered the courtroom to the cries of "Yulia, Yulia" and applause from her supporters.

"This is a farce and circus and not a court hearing," Tymoshenko, known for her penchant for theatrics, told the judge.

Around a thousand supporters gathered outside central Kiev's Pechersk Court, some holding white flags with red hearts, Tymoshenko's party symbol.

"Yulia's voice is the voice of people," read one of the placards brandished by her supporters.

Scores of police, some wearing anti-riot protective gear, ringed the courthouse.

The stuffy courtroom was bursting at the seams from the volume of journalists, supporters and all others wishing to attend the trial.

Tymoshenko is accused of causing a loss to the former Soviet republic's budget of 1.5 billion hryvnia ($190 million) when she signed a new energy contract with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after a brief interruption of gas deliveries in early 2009.

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