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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Yanukovych 'Sorry' for Tymoshenko

RIA Novosti

11:36 21/06/2012 MOSCOW, June 21 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said he felt "sorry" for jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and will seek a "humane decision" in her case.

"Of course I feel sorry for Yulia Tymoshenko as a human being. But this is not just compassion," Yanukovych told the German magazine SUPERillu.

Asked whether he considered pardoning Tymoshenko, Yanukovych replied: "When these criminal proceedings are over, I will be faced with the question of what to do next. I will try to make a humane decision."

Yanukovych - Tymoshenko's arch-rival who narrowly defeated her in the 2010 presidential run-off - also said Ukraine had hired the U.S. law firm Skadden to analyse the case.

Earlier this month, Yanukovych accused the former prime minister of potential involvement in the 1996 murder of prominent politician Yevhen Shcherban.

But Tymoshenko, who was jailed for seven years in October 2011 for overstepping her authority as prime minister in signing a 2009 gas deal with Russia, has dismissed any link with the murder.

In April, Shcherban's convicted murderer said he was under pressure to give false testimony implicating Tymoshenko.

The United States, the European Union and Russia have condemned Tymoshenko's conviction.

Tymoshenko denies wrongdoing and says her trial was political revenge by Yanukovych.

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