Merkel phones Ukraine to criticize Timoshenko trial
Sep 16, 2011, 15:59 GMT
Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Friday the trial of a former Ukraininan prime minister in a telephone call to the country's president, her spokesman said.
Merkel told President Viktor Yanukovich that the criminal justice system should not be used as a tool against political opponents.
Ukrainian authorities have accused former premier Yulia Timoshenko of corruption. Several western nations have criticized the prosecution as a front to settle political scores. The trial is currently in adjournment until September 27.
Merkel urged Kiev to let the electoral process decide political power struggles, the Berlin spokesman said.
She said European Union assistance to Ukraine depended on shared convictions about democracy and the rule of law, and said that closer relations would require Kiev to pay more attention to those values.
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