- Fla. Rep. Alan Grayson’s wife drops restraining order against him
- McDonald’s lawsuits filed over wages ‘stolen’ like Hamburglar steals Big Macs
- HUMPHRIES: Fight like a Democrat – An open letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell
- Florida board member shocks with ‘Heil Hitler’ salute at town meeting
- Bill O’Reilly, Chris Matthews inducted into Irish America Hall of Fame
- Military given ‘execute order’ by Obama for secret cyber mission in June
- College group’s diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- Cops: 2 shoot up heroin as kids play at McDonald’s
- Drug charges against husband of Va. daycare owner
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after ‘indication’ of Malaysian jet crash
Ukraine’s highest court upholds Tymoshenko verdict
KIEV (AP) — Ukraine's highest court on Wednesday upheld the guilty verdict against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is in jail on abuse-of-office charges.
Tymoshenko was an architect of Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution, which promoted democracy, and a runner-up in the 2010 presidential election. She was sentenced to seven years in prison in October 2011, when she was found guilty of exceeding her powers while negotiating a gas contract with Russia while she was prime minister.
Her supporters say the trial is a politically motivated attempt by her rival, President Viktor Yanukovich, to keep her out of October elections. The government denies the accusations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tymoshenko's counterpart in signing the gas deal, has said there was nothing illegal in her actions.
Judge Oleksandr Elfimov said as he was reading the ruling that the court had "found no grounds to uphold (Tymoshenko's) appeal" of the verdict, and that the prison term is "adequate to the gravity of the crime."
Several members of the audience yelled, "Shame!" upon hearing the verdict.
The court hearing was attended by former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Patrick Cox, former president of the European Parliament.
"This and past court rulings have nothing to do with justice," said Tymoshenko aide Oleksandr Turchinov.
Lawyers for Tymoshenko are appealing the conviction in the European Court for Human Rights.
Tymoshenko's daughter Eugenia described the hearing as a "shameful decision which proves one more time that a dictatorship has come to Ukraine."
Kiev-based political analyst Mykhailo Pogrebinsky said Wednesday's ruling "has brought Ukraine's legal system into a deadlock."
"Criminal prosecution for a political decision can hardly be called the rule of law," he said.
Tymoshenko's following remains strong in Ukraine, where demonstrations at the prison in support of her are frequent.
At least 500 hundred supporters gathered Wednesday outside the courthouse in Kiev, chanting, "Freedom to Yulia!"
After the hearing, Tymoshenko's supporters held a mock funeral procession, carrying a small coffin with a figure of Themis, the Greek goddess of justice, inside. They buried the coffin in the courthouse's yard and erected a cross with the plaque "Ukraine's justice lies here."
TWT Video Picks
By Emily Miller
Obama is losing the debate on gun ownership, concealed-carry permits
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- Oil rig worker says he saw missing plane go down: report
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- Cops: 2 shoot up heroin as kids play at McDonald's
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- Details on ships, planes searching for missing jet
- GOP bill tries to pull courts into fight with Obama on executive power, enforcing laws
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- NRA shirt gets N.Y. high school student suspended
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again