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Yulia Tymoshenko detained in Ukraine for being ‘disruptive’

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Summary of story from BBC, August 5, 2011

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been taken into custody on a judge’s order during her trial on charges of abuse of office.

Tymosheko was escorted out of the courtroom by police yesterday, prompting her supporters to shout “Shame!”.

Supporters then clashed with riot police as she was taken away in handcuffs.

The judge accused Tymoshenko of violating court rules and impeding proceedings. She says, along with many other commentators, that these new charges against her are politically motivated.

Tymoshenko has been accused of illegally agreeing to a 10 year deal to buy natural gas from Russia forcing the Ukraine to buy it at prices that were ruinous for its economy. Critics say this brought the country’s economic downfall.

This is the second time the prosecution has requested she be detained for improper conduct, after the judge turned down a similar request last week.

Tymoshenko has reportedly refused to stand up when addressing the judge, as is required in court and also repeatedly insulted him.

She also questioned his objectivity during the trial and her supporters reportedly disrupted proceedings.

One of Tymoshenko’s lawyers has called her detention “unprecedented and illegal” whilst one of her main supporters promised to bring “hundreds, thousands” of her supporters to the streets to protest.

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