03:04 GMT +3 hours27 November 2014
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Police pile up charges against Tymoshenko

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Charges are snowballing against Ukraine’s jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko as the tax police reopened four cases against the president’s long-time rival on Friday, her lawyer said on Monday.

Charges are snowballing against Ukraine’s jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko as the tax police reopened four cases against the president’s long-time rival on Friday, her lawyer said on Monday.

Tymoshenko, 50, is already serving a seven-year term for abuse of power for concluding gas deals with Russia in 2009, a verdict condemned by the European Union and Russia as politically motivated.

“On Friday, tax police officers notified Yulia Tymoshenko that an investigation into four criminal cases against her has resumed,” her lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko said, adding that Tymoshenko had received the documents.

The probe concerns alleged tax evasion in the late 1990s when Tymoshenko was head of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine, then the main importer of the Russian natural gas. The charges were dropped under the statute of limitations in the 2000s.

Prosecutors earlier launched an investigation into the company’s alleged $405-million debt to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Tymoshenko, an arch rival of President Viktor Yanukovych, has been heavily prosecuted since Yanukovych took office in 2010.