Ukraine’s Former PM Yulia Tymoshenko sentenced to 7 years in Prison for Abuse of Office

International Current Affairs 2011. Ukraine’s former PM Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of abuse of office in signing a gas deal with Russia

Created On: Oct 13, 2011 13:13 ISTModified On: Oct 13, 2011 13:13 IST

Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to 7 years in prison on 11 October 2011 on charges of abuse of office in signing a gas deal with Russia in 2009. Tymoshenko currently the nation’s top opposition leader, denounced the trial as rigged by president Viktor Yanukovych in order to get rid of a popular political opponent.

 Judge Rodion Kireyev declared Tymoshenko guilty of exceeding her authority as premier when she signed a natural gas imports contract with Russia in 2009. He also banned her from occupying government posts for three years after the completion of her prison term and fined her 1.5 billion hryvna ($190 million) for the damages her actions cost the state. As a convicted criminal, she would be unable to participate in Ukraine's next presidential elections in 2012.

In May 2010, Ukraine's state prosecutor launched a criminal case relating to misuse by Tymoshenko’s govt of about $290 million in cash received for selling carbon quotas. Prosecutors mentioned that the deal saddled Ukraine with an exorbitant price for supplies of Russian gas.

Yulia Tymoshenko born in November 1960  and was trained as an engineer.  In the mid-1990s she formed United Energy Systems, which helped supply gas to Ukraine's huge industrial base. Her early involvement in the gas industry in the 1990s, after Ukraine had gained its independence with the break-up of the Soviet Union, earned her the nickname gas princess.

She shot to prominence when she led the Orange Revolution street protests in Kiev in 2004-05
She entered parliament in 1996 and was made a deputy PM in charge of the energy sector in 2000 by PM Viktor Yushchenko. she became PM and Yushchenko the president in 2005. She was however sacked after 8 months in office.

She was reappointed PM in September 2007. As PM, Tymoshenko brokered the 10-year gas deal with Russian PM Putin in January 2009.

In 2010 Tymoshenko lost the presidential election to Viktor Yanukovych.

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