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    Tymoshenko government accused of misappropriating $8.5 mln to advocate Ukraine's image

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    Ukraine's previous cabinet headed by Yulia Tymoshenko has illegally allocated 67.6 million hryvnias ($8.46 million) from state reserves to the Justice Ministry intended to cover expenses on advocating Ukraine's interests in foreign courts, the country's Audit Chamber has revealed.

    Ukraine's previous cabinet headed by Yulia Tymoshenko has illegally allocated 67.6 million hryvnias ($8.46 million) from state reserves to the Justice Ministry intended to cover expenses on advocating Ukraine's interests in foreign courts, the country's Audit Chamber has revealed.

    "In breach of state budget laws, the previous government illegally allocated 67.6 million hryvnias to the Justice Ministry from the state budget's reserve fund... intended for advocating the state's rights and interests in foreign courts instead of increasing allocations for budget programs aimed at assuring social guarantees for Ukrainian citizens," the chamber said in a statement issued on Monday.

    Tymoshenko said last week that a criminal case had been opened against her over alleged misuse of public funds intended for ecological programs. She was ordered not to leave the city and to reappear at the Prosecutor's Office.

    Tymoshenko moved to the opposition after her government was dissolved in March following presidential elections narrowly won by her rival Viktor Yanukovych. The opposition has strongly criticized the Yanukovych government over its "anti-Ukrainian" and "pro-Russian" policies.

    Since then, the former prime minister has been summoned to the Prosecutor General's Office several times.

    Ukrainian opposition leaders, including Tymoshenko, have said that the authorities have launched a criminal probe against the ex-premier to intimidate the opposition and settle scores with it.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has earlier said that the government led by Tymoshenko had misused $12 billion.

    KIEV, December 20 (RIA Novosti)

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