Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, on trial over the 2009 gas deal with Russia, demanded during a court session on Friday that testimony given by the country's current premier, Mykola Azarov, in Russian be translated into Ukrainian.
"I understood nothing from what Azarov said, not even a word," Tymoshenko, a native speaker of Russian, told the court. "I don't understand Russian."
Tymoshenko, currently Ukraine's opposition leader, is being prosecuted for signing a 2009 gas contract with Russian gas company Gazprom which Kiev says is disadvantageous to Ukraine and which, according to the new government that came to power last year, Tymoshenko had no right to sign.
Friday's court hearing was delayed for half an hour because Tymoshenko was late to appear in the courtroom. During the hearing, state prosecutor Lilia Frolova asked the court once again to arrest Tymoshenko rather than just maintain its current ban on her traveling outside Kiev after the defendant accused Azarov of corruption while he was giving his testimony.
In late July, the court rejected a previous request by the prosecutor to arrest Tymoshenko, who is accused of constantly disrupting order in the court room and deliberately procrastinating.
The judge again rejected on Friday a request by Tymoshenko's new lawyer, Yuriy Sukhov, to delay the trial to provide him additional time to study case materials, which occupy thousands of pages. Sukhov became Tymoshenko's lawyer on Monday after her previous lawyer was removed from the case by the presiding judge for contempt of court because he continually refused to stand when the judge entered the courtroom.
The court also rejected Tymoshenko's request to have the judge removed.
Friday's session took place amid demonstrations on Kiev's central Khreshchatyk Avenue staged by supporters and opponents of the former prime minister.
Besides the gas case, the ex-premier also faces charges of misusing $425 million that her government received in 2009 from the selling its carbon emission rights under the Kyoto protocol. She faces up to ten years behind bars if found guilty.
Tymoshenko has repeatedly dismissed all charges brought against her as political, saying she is being targeted for opposing President Viktor Yanukovych, who narrowly beat her in the presidential election in February 2010.