The State Tax Service of the Ukraine [official website] on Friday announced formal charges [press release, in Ukrainian] against former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive] for embezzlement and tax evasion. The new charges allege [RIA Novosti report] that during her time as head of United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) in 1996, Tymoshenko hid $165 million of corporate revenue and accumulated $5.8 million through tax fraud. Tymoshenko received notice of the charges [JURIST report] earlier this week. Last month, the Security Service of Ukraine [official website] brought new corruption charges against Tymoshenko days after she was sentenced [JURIST reports] to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of power and corruption. Serhiy Vlasenko, Tymoshenko's lawyer also announced on Thursday that her official appeal [press release] will be heard on December 13.
Tymoshenko's trial resumed at the end of September after a two-week recess [JURIST reports]. In August, the Kiev Appeals Court refused Tymoshenko's appeal of her detention for contempt charges [JURIST reports]. Also in August, Judge Rodoin Kireyev rejected a request [JURIST report] from Tymoshenko to release her from prison. In July, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) [official website, in Ukrainian] announced that they are launching a criminal investigation [JURIST report] into UESU, an energy company at one time headed by Tymoshenko. In June, Tymoshenko filed a complaint [JURIST report] with the ECHR alleging violations of the European Convention of Human Rights [text, PDF]. The complaint argued that the charges against Tymoshenko are politically engineered by current Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych [official website, in Ukrainian], Tymoshenko's political rival. Tymoshenko's government was dissolved in March 2010 after she narrowly lost the presidential election to Yanukovych. Tymoshenko had alleged that widespread voter fraud allowed Yanukovych to win the election.