The FINANCIAL -- Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko will not appear in court on Monday as
scheduled, the prison service said, saving the Euro 2012 co-host added
scandal on the eve of the semi-finals.
Tymoshenko, whose sentencing last year to seven years in prison has prompted outraged European Union leaders to boycott tournament matches in Ukraine , has been in hospital receiving treatment for back problems.
The prison service said Sunday it would abide by a recommendation from a visiting German doctor to keep Tymoshenko in hospital until her condition improves.
"Tymoshenko will not appear in court on Monday," the prison service said in a statement posted on its website.
"The prison service will not be delivering her to court because (Tymoshenko) submitted a written request not to take part in the court hearing."
The former premier has complained of mistreatment since being sentenced in October in a controversial hearing relating to a disputed gas deal she arranged with Russia.
The European Union says she is a victim of political retribution and some of its top officials have skipped the matches held in Ukraine , which is hosting the European football championships with Poland.
According to EUbusiness, the two semi-final matches will be played Wednesday and Thursday.
Tymoshenko was put on trial on separate tax evasion charges in April, in a hearing already twice adjourned because of her hospitalisation.
A new court date was scheduled for Monday and the justice ministry had sent a request to the prison service in the eastern city of Kharkiv -- home to both her hospital and jail -- requesting her attendance.
The former 2004 Orange Revolution leader's new trial relates to her time in the 1990s as the head of a Ukrainian power company -- a case that was both probed and dropped by a previous government.
The trial's resumption at the very height of the Euro tournament threatened to prove difficult for Ukraine 's officials because of planned protests and the attention it would have inevitably drawn from European dignitaries.
But Tymoshenko will also be in the news on Tuesday when a judge hears her appeal against last year's abuse-of-power conviction.