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Top lawyer for jailed Ukraine ex-PM Tymoshenko faces legal action, fears arrest

  • ef70fbb08baa3c02270f6a7067001b67.jpg

    Supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko take part in a rally outside Ukraine's Presidential office in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. . Last week, Ukrainian authorities stepped up their legal campaign against Tymoshenko, accusing her of organizing the murder of a businessman nearly 20 years ago. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) (The Associated Press)

  • e6c46a0f8b983c02270f6a706700f6d6.jpg

    A supporter of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko take part in a rally outside Ukraine's Presidential office in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Ukrainian authorities have formally notified jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko that she is a suspect in the murder of a businessman and lawmaker in 1996. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) (The Associated Press)

The top lawyer for jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says he is under criminal investigation and fears imminent arrest.

Serhiy Vlasenko told reporters Monday that he stands accused of car theft, robbery and failing to obey a court ruling stemming from his divorce several years ago.

Vlasenko dismissed all the accusations as a campaign by Tymoshenko's long-time political foe, President Viktor Yanukovych, to lock him in jail and leave Tymoshenko without a defense.

Last week, Ukrainian authorities stepped up their legal campaign against Tymoshenko, accusing her of organizing the murder of a businessman nearly 20 years ago.

Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison term on charges of abuse of office, a sentence that has been condemned by the West as politically motivated.