Tymoshenko’s husband granted asylum in Czech Republic

The husband of Ukraine’s jailed opposition leader Julija Tymoshenko has been granted political asylum in the Czech Republic. Czech Interior Minister Jan Kubice confirmed the news at a press briefing on Friday afternoon, saying the request had been filed several months ago.

The former Ukrainian prime minister was sentenced to seven years in prison last October for abuse of office in what the European Union denounced as a politically-motivated trial. The asylum granted to her husband Oleksander Tymoshenko is the second high profile case the country has dealt with in the past 12 months. Last year it granted asylum to a former economics minister in the Tymoshenko cabinet.

Ukraine’s ruling Party of the Regions says the request for asylum was financially motivated, claiming that Tymoshenko’s husband wanted to transfer abroad funds that his wife received from political sponsors.