A Ukrainian court delayed hearing opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s appeal against her prison sentence, prompting her lawyer to say he’d turn to the European Court of Human Rights.
The court, based in the capital, Kiev, will reconvene June 26 because Tymoshenko, who’s hospitalized with back pain, should attend the hearing in person, prosecutor Oksana Drogobytska said on private TV Channel 5.
“Clearly, they’re dragging their feet,” Sergiy Vlasenko, a lawyer for Tymoshenko, said today in a statement on her website. “We consider today’s decision final and will appeal to the European Court for Human Rights.”
Tymoshenko was handed a seven-year prison sentence in October after a court ruled she overstepped her authority as prime minister when signing a 2009 natural-gas pact with Russia. She says the case was engineered by President Viktor Yanukovych to silence opposition before parliamentary elections in October. The European Union, the U.S, and Russian have condemned her conviction.
Officials such as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso have pledged to skip Euro 2012 soccer matches in Ukraine in protest at Tymoshenko’s imprisonment. The final of the tournament, which Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland, will take place in Kiev on July 1.
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