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Ukraine moves to release former PM Tymoshenko

Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 01:33

Feb. 22 - Ukrainian parliament voted for changes to the legal code that could see the release of Yanukovich's jailed rival, opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Sarah Toms reports.

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After a deal was signed ushering in a unity government and presidential elections in Ukraine, parliament voted to restore the 2004 constitution. All but one of the 387 MPs present was in favour...a blow to President Viktor Yanukovych, whose own party voted to slash his powers. Parliament also sacked Yanukovych's interior minister, who was blamed for this week's bloodshed in which dozens have died. An amnesty for protesters accused of involvement in the violence was approved. And a vote for a change in the law which could pave the way for the release from jail of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN DEPUTY, ANDRIY KOZHEMYAKIN, SAYING: "These articles of the Criminal Code currently allow whoever is in power to destroy their political opponents, and parliament should break that knot on Ukraine's neck." Politicians applauded, cheering "freedom to Yulia" as the amendment was passed. Tymoshenko -- seen here in court as she was found guilty of abusing her powers -- is a rival of Yanukovych and a symbol of the opposition movement. She was jailed for seven years in 2011. Her supporters say this was simply Yanukovych taking out his most prominent opponent.

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Ukraine moves to release former PM Tymoshenko

Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 01:33