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Convicted Ukraine ex-premier refuses to attend court hearing

December 27, 2013, 14:44 UTC+3 KIEV
She was due to appear at Kievsky court in the north-eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov, facing charges for violations at United Energy Systems of Ukraine
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© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

KIEV, December 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Convicted former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko refused again to be taken to court on Friday, citing medical reasons, the Ukrainian state penitentiary service reported.

She was due to appear at Kievsky court in the north-eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov, facing charges for violations at United Energy Systems of Ukraine. The corporation's former head is accused of tax evasion, theft and attempted theft of budgetary funds, office abuse and tax avoidance.

“On Friday morning, the director of the penitentiary proposed transport but (she) refused under the pretext that German doctors do not recommend her participation in court sessions,” the prison service said, adding that Timoshenko did not respond to remarks that German doctors had not visited her for six months and that the court had been summoning her for more than a year.

Court sessions have been delayed since April 2012 over Timoshenko’s refusal to attend. The former premier is serving a seven-year sentence over abuse of power in the signing of gas contracts with Russia in 2009.

She has been undergoing treatment for nearly 18 months at a Kharkov hospital belonging to Ukrainian railways.

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