Tymoshenko's daughter hails EU court ruling as 'first victory'

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko's daughter Yevgenia hailed Tuesday the European Court of Human Rights' ruling that her mother's detention was unlawful as the "first victory" on the way to her release.

"Today we are saying that this is the first victory, the first step to her full political rehabilitation and her immediate release," Yevgenia Tymoshenko told reporters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday ruled that the former prime minister's pre-trial detention was unlawful and politically motivated.

But the court also threw out an accusation concerning her ill-treatment in jail.

Tymoshenko's team did not have the right to appeal her October 2011 conviction for abuse of power as prime minister that sent her to jail for seven years because that ruling is still being heard by a high Ukrainian court.

Her jailing has been condemned by Western governments as the result of selective persecution by the authorities and has led to a sharp deterioration in ties with the European Union, which Kiev wants to join.

Tymoshenko has dismissed the charges against her as politically motivated and orchestrated in reprisal by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych -- a long-time rival who beat her in a heated leadership poll in 2010.

Her daughter Yevgenia said on Tuesday that "the president on the basis of the court ruling has every opportunity to release my mother."

"We hope that he will make this humane decision in the nearest term."