KIEV, April 18 - RAPSI. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has refused to attend a hearing in the second criminal case against her on Thursday, the State Penitentiary Service reports.

Tymoshenko was sentenced in October to seven years in jail for abuse of power in signing gas contracts between Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom in 2009.

The hearing in the second case was scheduled for April 19. Tymoshenko has been charged with financial malpractice during her tenure as the head of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine.

Her defense attorneys have asked for the trial to be postponed due to her poor health.

Tymoshenko is presently serving time in a penal colony.