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Tymoshenko Appeal Delayed on Health Grounds

KIEV — Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose jailing for abuse of power has soured Ukraine's relations with the European Union, had her appeal hearing postponed for five weeks Thursday so doctors can establish whether she is fit to attend.

The high court in Kiev granted a motion by state prosecutors for the hearing to be put back to Aug. 16 pending a medical examination of the 51-year-old.

Tymoshenko, a fierce opponent of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, is on temporary release from prison, being treated for back trouble in a state-run hospital.

Jailed for seven years in 2011, she denies wrongdoing and says she is the victim of a personal vendetta by Yanukovych. Western governments have condemned her treatment as "selective justice," and the EU has responded by shelving agreements with Ukraine on free trade and political ties.

The case relates to a 2009 gas deal with Russia that Tymoshenko brokered as prime minister, and that Yanukovych's government says saddled Ukraine with an exorbitant price for gas imports.

In a separate trial due to restart on July 23, she faces separate charges of tax evasion and embezzlement dating back to the 1990s, when she was a prominent businesswoman.

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