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Ukraine prosecutor reopens murder case against ex-PM Tymoshenko

The UkraineProsecutor General [official website, in Ukrainian] on Monday reopened the murder case against former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [official website; JURIST news archive]. The charges, originally filed in January [JURIST report], allege that Tymoshenko and former prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko [JURIST news archive] ordered the murder of Yevhen Shcherban and two others in 1996. Shcherban, a Ukrainian parliamentary lawmaker who also headed Ukraine's Aton financial corporation, was shot dead with his wife at Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine in November 1996. The caseTymoshenko has already been sentenced to seven years in prison on corruption charges and is currently awaiting trial on charges of tax evasion [JURIST reports].

The European Court of Human Rights [official website] ruled [JURIST report] last month that Ukraine violated the European Convention on Human Rights by jailing Tymoshenko for politically-motivated reasons. In February Tymoshenko was fined USD $2,000 for contempt [JURIST report] of court after a hearing in Kiev. In January the state began investigating [JURIST report] her lawyer for several criminal charges. In September the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] unanimously passed [JURIST report] a resolution calling for Ukraine to release Tymoshenko from prison. Last July, the ECHR ruled unanimously [JURIST report] that the arrest and detention of former interior minister and Tymoshenko ally Lutsenko violated the ECHR.

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