KIEV, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been released from prison, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Saturday.
Hours earlier, Tymoshenko ally Alexandr Turchinov was elected parliament speaker in place of Volodymyr Rybak, who resigned due to health reasons.
The 49-year-old Turchinov served as first deputy prime minister in Tymoshenko's government from 2007 to 2010.
Earlier Saturday, the Ukrainian parliament approved a fast-track procedure for Tymoshenko's release that did not require the president's endorsement.
On Friday, lawmakers voted to amend the Ukrainian law on corruption and decriminalize the charge counts under which Tymoshenko was imprisoned.
Tymoshenko, a key opposition leader, was convicted in October 2011 of abuse of power over a 2009 gas deal with Russia.
She was also charged with embezzling an estimated 405 million U.S. dollars and evading tax worth more than 87,000 dollars in the 1990s.
The 53-year-old opposition leader, who is now receiving medical treatment in a state hospital in Kharkov city in eastern Ukraine, has denied all the charges, saying they are politically motivated.