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KIEV, October 12 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian Opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko refused to attend, for the ninth time, the court hearing over financial abuse at the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine /UESU/ corporation which she led in the 1990s. The State Penitentiary Service said the former prime ministers had notified the Kiev district court of Kharkov in written form about her refusal to be present at the October 15 hearing.
"It's the ninth time that the defendant refuses to come to the court session. The Kachanovskaya penal colony administration informed the court about it in written form," the press office of the State Penitentiary Service said.
On September 11, the Kiev district court of Kharkov postponed the hearing to October 15. Judge Konstantin Sadovsky said the hearing could not be held in Timoshenko's absence.
The prosecutors supported the postponement, but Timoshenko’s' lawyer, lawmaker Sergei Vlasenko said the court should suspend the UESU case proceedings altogether until Timoshenko had fully convalesced, in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation.
The leader of the Ukrainian Opposition is serving a sentence within the first criminal case. Kiev's Pechora district court sentenced her last October to seven years in prison for exceeding her office powers during the signing of gas supply contracts with Russia in 2009. Timoshenko has been receiving treatment at a Kharkov hospital since May 9.
According to the investigator, Timoshenko, who headed the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine in 1995-1997, is accused of tax evasion worth over four million hrivnas /some 500,000 dollars/, squandering and attempted theft of budget money through illegal VAT refund /25 million hrivnas /three million dollars/, and fraud in office and income tax evasion to the tune of 681,000 hrivnas. The budget money was stolen by using offshore companies controlled by the UESU.