Plea to the West for Tymoshenko
KIEV, Ukraine - The daughter of jailed former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko urged Western nations Thursday to impose sanctions on officials involved in her mother's imprisonment.
Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abuse of office after a trial that was condemned by the West as politically motivated and which strained Ukraine's ties to Europe and the United States. Tymoshenko denies the charges and accuses President Viktor Yanukovych, her longtime foe, of orchestrating the trial to bar her from politics.
In an interview on Thursday, Tymoshenko's daughter Eugenia, 32, said prosecutors and judges involved in her mother's case should face Western sanctions such as travel bans and freezes on bank accounts.
Yulia Tymoshenko has been in prison for about a year and a half, but Eugenia Tymoshenko expressed hope that Western pressure could eventually free her mother so that she could run against Yanukovych in the 2015 presidential election.
Bhutto's son is now in politics
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The 24-year-old son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto launched his political career Thursday with a fiery speech before thousands of cheering supporters observing the fifth anniversary of his mother's assassination.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's speech comes several months before national elections are expected to be held. He is too young to participate in the elections himself - the minimum age is 25 - but is likely to be a key asset for the ruling Pakistan People's Party.
"I want to tell you that thanks to God he has completed his studies, but now is the time of his training," his father, President Asif Ali Zardari, told supporters Thursday in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh village in southern Sindh province, site of the Bhutto family mausoleum. "He has to study Pakistan, he has to learn from you and he has to work according to your thinking." - AP
Turkey releases jailed journalist
ANKARA, Turkey - A Turkish court on Thursday freed a prominent journalist from prison pending the outcome of a trial that has raised fears for press freedoms in Turkey, the country's state-run agency reported.
The court in Istanbul released Soner Yalcin - the owner of an opposition news website - from custody after nearly two years, but barred him from traveling abroad and ordered him to report to a police station every week.
Yalcin is among 13 defendants who are on trial accused of forming the media wing of an alleged secularist terror network that prosecutors say plotted to topple Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government. The defendants reject the accusation. - AP