The report here is from the BBC which posted it as Breaking News

Ukraine ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko jailed over gas deal

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been jailed for seven years.

A judge ruled she had criminally exceeded her powers when she signed a gas deal with Russia in 2009.

Mrs Tymoshenko said the charges against her were politically motivated and vowed to fight for Ukrainian democracy "till her last breath".

Riot police are outside the court as supporters and opponents gather and there have been minor clashes.

The judge said the former prime minister would also have to pay back 1.5bn hrivnas ($186m) lost by the state gas company as a result of the deal.

As the verdict was read out, Mrs Tymoshenko spoke over the judge, saying she would "fight to defend my honest name", adding that Ukraine had returned to the repression of Stalin’s 1937 Soviet Union.

The US and the EU have condemned the charges against Mrs Tymoshenko and some of her allies as selective prosecution of political opponents.

European officials suggested that jailing Mrs Tymoshenko would be a serious blow to the country’s hopes of integration with the European Union.


At the scene

Daniel SandfordBBC News, Kiev

The courtroom was barely 10 metres by six. The back half was a press pen, with close to 100 reporters and photographers, and TV cameramen standing on benches.

Judge Rodion Kireyev - just 31 years old - stood while he read his decision, taking a short break every half-hour. Behind him on the wall was a Ukrainian crest; and, on a pole reaching to the ceiling, a Ukrainian flag.

In some of the breaks Yulia Tymoshenko addressed the media, asking the public not to be afraid of the Viktor Yanukovych "regime, " comparing it to the worst of the Stalin years.

She was accompanied in court by her husband Olexandr Tymoshenko and daughter Evgenia Carr.

Everyone else in court was standing, but Yulia Tymoshenko, her husband and daughter remained seated. She and Evgenia sat close together, almost cheek-to-cheek, as one of the most controversial court cases of recent years entered its final moments.

However, former president and one-time ally Viktor Yushchenko and others have testified against her.

Russia pipes gas to western Europe across Ukrainian territory and relations between 

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