Britain urges fair trial for ex-Ukraine PM
Britain said Saturday it was "very concerned" by the detention of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and warned that an improper trial could harm the country's relations with the EU.
A Kiev court placed Tymoshenko under arrest Friday for contempt of court in her ongoing trial on abuse of power charges, which she claims is a vendetta pursued by her rival, President Viktor Yanukovych.
"I was very concerned to learn of the detention of the Ukranian opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko," Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said.
"With our European Union and international partners, the United Kingdom will continue to monitor closely the trial of Ms Tymoshenko and the cases against a number of her former ministers and officials.
"I urge the Ukrainian authorities to adhere to the highest democratic standards, including respect for human rights, the rule of law and an independent, transparent and fair judicial process.
"These are prerequisites for its closer integration with the EU."
Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution, narrowly lost to Yanukovych in presidential elections last year. The presidency has denied any involvement in her trial.
© 2011 AFP