KIEV, June 18 - RAPSI. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko may be involved in a number of murders, Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper reported on Monday.

First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin said that another former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko employed a gang in the 1990s.

“The gang carried out assignments for Lazarenko and executed Tymoshenko’s orders. This has been proven by the investigation,” Kuzmin said. He added that the gang committed 25 murders and attempted murders.

Victims and witnesses identified Lazarenko and Tymoshenko as being the masterminds behind the crimes, noted Kuzmin.

He said earlier that prosecutors are prepared to press murder charges against Tymoshenko for organizing the assassination of MP and businessman Evegeny Shcherban.

However, it does not necessarily mean that a trial will commence soon, as Tymoshenko is undergoing treatment and by Ukrainian law someone who is ill cannot be prosecuted.

Tymoshenko's defense attorney Serhiy Vlasenko called the official's statement absurd.

Shcherban, former head of the Aton financial corporation and an MP, was shot dead together with his wife and an airport employee at Donetsk airport in 1996. Eight individuals were arrested on suspicion of his assassination in early 2002. The court found them guilty and three suspects were sentenced to life.

Kiev district court sentenced Tymoshenko in October 2011 to seven years in prison for abuse of power in signing gas contracts between Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom in 2009. The judge declared that Tymoshenko abused her position as prime minister and issued directives regarding gas contract negotiations in Moscow, which were poorly documented and lacked the government's consent.