The husband of jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was granted political asylum in the Czech Republic on Friday. Czech Interior Ministry spokesman Vladimir Repka said his ministry approved the application submitted by Oleksandr Tymoshenko, but refused to provide details about the decision. Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s top opposition leader and a former presidential candidate, received seven years in prison after she was found guilty of abuse of office when brokering the 2009 gas deal with Russia. The conviction is seen as under political motivation by the European Union. In Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko’s lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, said in remarks broadcast Friday on Russia’s NTV television that Oleksandr Tymoshenko had asked for asylum in the Czech Republic because a criminal investigation has been launched against him in Ukraine in an attempt to increase pressure on his jailed wife. A year ago, the republic granted political asylum to Ukraine’s former Economics Minister Bohdan Danylyshin, one of Tymoshenko’s allies, who was charged with abuse of office in his country. The move strained relations between the two countries. EU urges The EU said last month that it would not sign an agreement with Ukraine leading to free trade and closer political ties if the Ukrainian government does not release Yulia Tymoshenko. “Our strong concerns are primarily related to the risks of politically motivated justice in Ukraine,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy said. The EU has urged President Yanukovych to release Tymoshenko. EU officials called Tymoshenko case “selective prosecution of political opponents” by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.