Kiev (MunichNOW News/dpa) – Yulia Tymoshenko was the heroine of the 2004 pro-Western Orange Revolution in Ukraine. But the two-time former prime minister was convicted in 2011 of abuse of power in connection with a gas deal with Russia.
A timeline of the Tymoshenko case:
— March 2010: Tymoshenko resigns after a vote of no confidence in parliament. Deputies accuse her of abuse of power and signing an overpriced deal to buy natural gas from Russia.
— June 2011: She goes on trial in Kiev. Supporters and opponents brawl in the courtroom and on the streets.
— October 2011: The court sentences her to seven years in prison. There is international condemnation of the verdict. The European Union calls off a meeting with Tymoshenko arch-rival President Viktor Yanukovych.
— December 2011: Tymoshenko is moved to a women’s prison in Kharkiv, 450 kilometres east of Kiev.
— February 2012: The opposition leader, complaining of severe back pain, is examined by German and Canadian doctors. They diagnose a slipped disc.
— April 2012: Tymoshenko begins a hunger strike in protest at her treatment by the Kharkiv prison staff.
— May 2012: A planned meeting of European presidents in Yalta is called off after several make clear that they will not be attending because of the Tymoshenko issue.
— June 2012: The Euro 2012 football tournament begins in Poland and Ukraine. Some European Union politicians decline to attend games in Ukraine.
— July 2012: The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rules that Ukraine violated the rights of a jailed Tymoshenko ally, former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko, and orders Ukraine to pay damages.
— August 2012: The same European Court hears Tymoshenko’s complaint about her detention and prison conditions.
— January 2013: Tymoshenko is named a suspect in the long-dormant 1996 contract murder case of Ukrainian politician and businessman Yvhen Scherban.
— February 2013: EU leaders give Yanukovych a May deadline to show “tangible progress” on democratic reforms.
— April 2013: Yanukoych pardons Lutsenko, but says it is too early to consider pardoning Timoshenko.
— April 2013: The European Court of Human Rights rules that Tymoshenko’s pre-trial detention was unlawful but rejects her claim that she is being denied adequate health care.
— November 2013: Draft legislation that would have allowed Tymoshenko to leave Ukraine for treatment in Germany fails to get enough votes in parliament. EU politicans had made her release a key demand for an association agreement with Ukraine.
— November 2013 – February 2014 – Yanukovych scraps EU association agreement and takes up closer relations with Russia, triggering massive anti-government demonstrations triggered. In recent violence related to the conflict, at least 77 people – mainly opposition supporters – were killed.
— February 22, 2014: Ukraine’s parliament votes for Tymoshenko’s immediate release. Several hours later, Tymoshenko leaves the prison hospital where she was being treated for back problems headed for Kiev.