Tymoshenko's top lawyer faces legal action, fears arrest
Supporters of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko take part in a rally outside Ukraine's High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases in Kiev, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 8:15AM EST
KIEV, Ukraine -- The top lawyer for jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says he is under criminal investigation and fears imminent arrest.
Serhiy Vlasenko told reporters Monday that he stands accused of car theft, robbery and failing to obey a court ruling stemming from his divorce several years ago.
Vlasenko dismissed all the accusations as a campaign by Tymoshenko's long-time political foe, President Viktor Yanukovych, to lock him in jail and leave Tymoshenko without a defence.
Last week, Ukrainian authorities stepped up their legal campaign against Tymoshenko, accusing her of organizing the murder of a businessman nearly 20 years ago.
Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison term on charges of abuse of office, a sentence that has been condemned by the West as politically motivated.