Ukrainian former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been summoned to see investigators of the general prosecutor's office on Wednesday about a criminal case, her spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
Tymoshenko, who earlier on Tuesday led protests outside parliament against the pro-Russian policies of President Viktor Yanukovich, has become the target of "direct political repression", spokeswoman Maryna Soroka told journalists.
She said Tymoshenko had been called in by investigators "about the opening of a criminal case whose aim is to discredit her and limit her movements around Ukraine and the world".
"The authorities are doing this consciously to weaken the activity of an organised opposition," she said.
Tymoshenko, who lost to Yanukovich in a presidential election in February after a bitter campaign, spent a few weeks in a Kiev prison in 2001 on charges of financial violations relating to her activities in trading in gas imports in the mid-1990s.
She was released without trial and she has always said the legal action against her was politically motivated by the then President Leonid Kuchma.
The new Ukrainian government of Mykola Azarov last month charged Tymoshenko's government with the loss of about $378 million, received from selling Ukrainian carbon quotas to Japan.
It said the government had received the money in "foreign ecological investment" but not a single ecological and energy saving project had been realised.
In 2009 Ukraine sold 30 million carbon emission rights to Japan for $375 million and had said it hopes to earn $2 billion or more from the sale of the right to pollute carbon credits that it does not use.
ReutersLast Mod: 12 Mayıs 2010, 00:21