France summons Ukraine envoy over Tymoshenko arrest

11th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

France on Thursday said it had summoned the Ukrainian ambassador in Paris to express its "serious concern" over the arrest of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The envoy was told that France would continue to follow very closely the developments in the case that saw Tymoshenko's arrest on Friday for contempt of court in her abuse of power trial, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

He was told of "the serious concern generated by the detention of Mrs. Yulia Tymoshenko and more generally of the progress of (her) trial," spokeswoman Christine Fages told reporters.

Tymoshenko risks being jailed for up to 10 years if convicted for abuse of power over gas deals she signed with Russia in 2009.

The European Union and the United States have been sharply critical of her arrest, saying it raised concerns about the rule of law in Ukraine.

Tymoshenko on Wednesday bitterly accused her prosecutors of being agents of a "machine of repression" against opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych.

© 2011 AFP

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