Piling cases on Tymoshenko

Ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko led Ukraine’s government in 2005 and again from 2007-2010 under President Viktor Yushchenko. She made a fortune in the natural gas trading business under the patronage of ex-Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, in power from 1996-1997. Lazarenko is now serving a prison sentence in the United States after being convicted on money-laundering charges.

With Tymoshenko’s enemies back in power, not least among them Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and gas tycoon Dmytro Firtash, Ukrainian prosecutors seem determined to keep her locked up in prison far beyond the seven-year term she received on Oct. 11.

Here’s a roundup of her legal troubles, which she and many others in Ukraine and internationally say amount to political persecution rather than a genuine attempt to root out corruption. Even though some of the accusations go back to the 1990s, investigators say the statute of limitations has not expired.

Tymoshenko has been found guilty of: exceeding authority when brokering gas contracts with Russia in January 2009. The court sentences her to seven years in prison and required to reimburse the state $188 million in losses caused by the gas contract. She is also banned from taking a job as a civil servant for the period of three years after serving her seven-year prison sentence.

Tymoshenko is under criminal investigation on suspicion of: