KIEV Feb 21 Ukraine's parliament on Friday
voted for amendments in the criminal code which could pave the
way for the release of jailed opposition leader Yulia
The amendments would decriminalise aspects of the criminal
code relevant to her prosecution and set Ukrainian law in line
with European Union legislation, her supporters said.
"We are insisting that there is a vote on a bill which would
free Tymoshenko," former economy minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, who
has taken over as head of her Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party
since she was jailed, told parliament.
Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and long-standing rival
of President Viktor Yanukovich, was narrowly defeated by him in
a run-off for the presidency in February 2010.
She was jailed in 2011 for seven years for abuse of office
linked to a gas deal she brokered with Russia as prime minister
after a trial denounced as political by the European Union.
Andriy Kozhemyakin, a pro-Tymoshenko deputy, said the move
would do away with Soviet-era legislation that allows people in
power to destroy political opponents. "We must cut this knot,"