A former Ukrainian environment minister has been sentenced to three years in jail, RFE/RL reports.

Heorhiy Filipchuk was found guilty on April 6 of abuse of power when signing an agreement while in office regarding an international firm involved in exploiting Ukraine’s Black Sea resources.

Filipchuk pleaded not guilty.

"The court found Filipchuk guilty under Part 3, Article 365 of the Criminal Code, sentencing him to three years in prison and changing the measure of restraint for him from a travel ban to detention. He was taken into custody in the courtroom and sent to a detention center," the ex-minister's lawyer, todl the press.

His lawyer also told journalists that his client was just following instructions from then-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko is currently serving a seven-year jail term for abuse of office -- a charge she denies.


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