15 May 2012 /REUTERS
A Ukrainian court delayed hearings on Tuesday into former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's appeal against last year's abuse-of-office conviction, a verdict seen by many Western nations as politically motivated.
The European Union has condemned the former Soviet republic's ruling and Tymoshenko's seven-year prison sentence, urging her release and shelving landmark association and free trade deals with Ukraine over the issue. European leaders are also mulling a political boycott of the European football championship which Ukraine will host in June and July together with Poland. The delay means the hearings will resume during the Euro-2012 football tournament and less than a week before the July 1 final in Kiev. Ukraine's Specialized Supreme Court on civil and criminal cases was due to begin hearings into Tymoshenko's appeal on Tuesday. But state prosecutors asked the court to give them more time so they can study additional information on the case and because of the absence of Tymoshenko, who was this week moved from prison into a hospital to be treated for chronic back pain.