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Ukrainian Prosecutors Launch Bribery Case against Opposition Leader

The Prosecutor-General's Office has instituted criminal proceedings against lawmaker Yuliya Tymoshenko, leader of the eponymous opposition bloc, on charges of attempting to bribe a judge following a complaint from Volodymyr Borovko, Ukrainian media reported on 20 May.

Earlier this week, Borovko said that journalists that Tymoshenko had given him $125,000 to give to the judge in order to influence the court's decision and release her former business partners from custody.

Borovko said the partners included Hennadiy Tymoshenko (her father-in-law) and Antonina Bolyura, former executives at the Unified Energy Systems, which Yuliya Tymoshenko headed from 1996 to 97. Borovko claimed he failed to fulfill Yuliya Tymoshenko's request and that she is now threatening him and demanding the money back. Tymoshenko has denied the accusations as "totally wrong" and provocative.

On 20 May, police reportedly arrested Bolyura, who was hospitalized, and took her into custody.

(RFE/RL 21.v.04)

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