7 Jan 2012

Political asylum granted to Tymoshenko's husband

7:45 am on 7 January 2012

The husband of jailed Ukrainian former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been granted political asylum in the Czech Republic.

Oleksander Tymoshenko, 51, requested asylum at the end of last year. Confirmation of his application was announced on Friday by the Czech interior ministry.

In October, Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to prison for seven years for abuse of office. The BBC reports she was recently moved from custody in Kiev to a prison in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

Mr Tymoshenko has a stake in a Czech company, International Industrial Projects.

He spent a year in custody on charges of embezzlement in 2000-2001, but was freed because of a lack of evidence.

His wife was convicted of abuse of power over a gas deal she signed with Russia in 2009.

She accused President Viktor Yanukovych of orchestrating the case against her.