The Euro 2012 Soccer matches got off to a shaky start this week, as many European leaders refused to attend matches in Ukraine due to the jailing of Ex Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison last year after being convicted of charges that include abuse of office for signing a gas deal with Russia while she was Prime Minister.
To further anger the opposition to Ukraine's regime, Tymoshenko was seen badly bruised after prison guards allegedly beat her down. She is receiving treatment from a German doctor for those injuries.
The United Kingdom, France, and Germany have joined a boycott of the Euro 2012 matches in Ukraine, which is co-hosting the Championship with Poland. A Canadian parliamentary delegation in Ukraine was denied access to Tymoshenko by prison officials. Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls the Tymoshenko case "politically motivated" and has called for her release.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel even went as far as calling Ukrainian President and Tymoshenko rival a "dictator" and warning his administration to move forward with democracy or risk isolation from the European Union, which Ukraine has expressed interest in joining.
Tymoshenko Jailing Overshadows Euro 2012
Matthew Frank Kot for local2 sault ste. marie
June 10th, 2012 at 4:21pm | Last Updated at 4:26pm