KIEV, February 28 (RAPSI) – A court in Ukraine has dropped criminal charges against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko over alleged financial abuse at United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU), her party announced Friday.
The Kievsky District Court in Kharkiv also removed a seizure order on property belonging to Tymoshenko, the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party reported.
Tymoshenko was freed this month from prison in Kharkiv, where she had been serving a seven-year sentence since 2011 for abuse of power based on a gas deal she signed with Russia in 2009. She had been undergoing treatment in a local hospital since May 2012.
Prosecutors had charged Tymoshenko with alleged financial fraud when she was head of UESU in the 1990s. The case was postponed for more than a year, due to her poor health.
The prosecutions were brought under the government of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and were criticized by the United States and the European Union as “selective” justice against a political opponent. Tymoshenko denied the criminal allegations and accused Yanukovych of taking political revenge against her for her role in the 2004 Orange Revolution, which denied him the presidency.
Ukraine’s parliament voted on February 22 to release Tymoshenko from prison, days after Yanukovych fled the capital and was overthrown following months of anti-government protests. At least 88 people died and hundreds were injured in clashes between riot police and protesters in Kiev last week.
The parliament has voted to impeach Yanukovych and called presidential elections for May 25. In a statement, he denounced the efforts to oust him as a coup.