Ukraine court rejects appeal of former PM Tymoshenko's conviction
August 30, 2012 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
- NEW: The U.S. State Department says it's disappointed by the ruling
- Yulia Tymoshenko's sentence remains at seven years
- She is found guilty of signing overpriced gas contracts with Russia
- She was on a three-week hunger strike in late April and early May
(CNN) -- Ukraine's high court rejected an appeal Wednesday by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had challenged her conviction on charges of abuse of authority.
She is serving a seven-year prison sentence after she was found guilty of the charges in October.
A Ukrainian court said she signed overpriced gas contracts with Russia. The gas deals inflicted damages to the country amounting to more than 1.5 billion hryvnias (almost $185 million at the current exchange rate), the court said, ruling she must repay the money.
"I am disappointed to hear that Yuliya Tymoshenko's final domestic appeal against her October 2011 conviction has been turned down," David Lidington, British foreign office minister for Europe, said Wednesday. "The UK will continue to press Ukraine to end selective justice and to ensure that the opposition is able to participate fully in free and fair parliamentary elections in October."
Tymoshenko claims beatings in jail
Politics from a guarded hospital room
Tymoshenko grateful for Europe's support
Daughter on Tymoshenko's jail ordeal
Amnesty International slammed the verdict as "politically motivated" and called for the release of Tymoshenko, who was prime minister from January to September 2005, and December 2007 to March 2010.
At the time, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also called for her release and that of other members of her government "and the restoration of their full civil and political rights."
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday Washington was "disappointed by this decision" to reject Tymoshenko's appeal and urged the Ukraine government to let her go.
In April, Tymoshenko went on a three-week hunger strike to draw attention to "violence and lack of rights" in her country after she said she was beaten unconscious in prison.
The prosecutor said his office investigated her claim of abuse and found no proof to substantiate her allegations, but European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in April that the Ukrainian Ombudsperson's Office confirmed the report.
EU: Ukraine's Tymoshenko beaten in prison
Ashton called on Ukraine "to examine promptly and impartially any complaints of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."
Clinton also expressed concern over her treatment, saying in May that photos released by the Ombudsperson's Office "further call into question the conditions of her confinement."
CNN's Alla Eshchenko contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.