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Trial for former Ukraine PM delayed 17th time


19:33, April 23, 2013

KIEV, April 23 (Xinhua) -- A Ukrainian court on Tuesday postponed for the 17th time the trial of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko due to health reasons.

"The court has ruled it impossible to hear the case in defendant's absence," Judge Kostyantin Sadovsky said. He set the next hearing for May 21.

Sadovsky also said that Tymoshenko must appear at the trial in person.

Tymoshenko has been charged with embezzlement for squandering an estimated 405 million U.S. dollars and evading tax worth more than 87,000 dollars in the 1990s, when she was the president of United Energy Systems of Ukraine.

The former prime minister refused to appear in court due to chronic back pain that was being treated at an out-of-prison health center.

Tymoshenko, in office from 2007 to 2010, was serving a seven-year prison sentence on a separate abuse-of-office charge since October 2011.

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