BBC reports arrest of Tymoshenko as Breaking News


A Ukrainian court has ordered the arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko during her trial on charges of abuse of office.

The prosecution had requested she be taken into custody due to repeated violations of a court order.

Until now, Ms Tymoshenko had been required to remain in Kiev but had not been placed in detention.

Ms Tymoshenko is accused of illegally agreeing a 10-year contract to buy natural gas from Russia.

She denies the charges, which investigators say meant Ukraine was forced to buy gas at prices that were ruinous for its economy.

According to Ukraine’s commercial 5 Kanal TV, prosecutors had asked for Ms Tymoshenko to be arrested for showing contempt towards Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who testified against her, and Judge Rodion Kireyev.

Ms Tymoshenko was in court at the time and was quickly surrounded by police officers, 5 Kanal TV reported.

She was placed in handcuffs just outside the courtroom and led away, as her supporters shouted "Shame!", AFP news agency reported.

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