STRASBOURG, France — Lawyers for Ukraine's jailed opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, appealed to Europe's human rights court Tuesday as her only hope for a fair hearing, accusing the government of rigging the criminal case against her. A lawyer for the government denied any political motive and said her complaints about prison conditions and injuries were groundless.

An architect of Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution, Tymoshenko has been jailed since her arrest in a courtroom in August 2011, accused of negotiating a corrupt gas deal with Russia when she was prime minister. Supporters of the charismatic leader famed for her golden braids say she was jailed as the most potent threat to her political archrival, President Viktor Yanukovich.

Tuesday's testimony covered both the mundane questions of prison cell windows and cold running water, and the significant issues of inmate privacy, abuse and political retribution. Since the initial charges, the government has continued to build allegations against Tymoshenko: She went on trial in June on charges of evading several million dollars in taxes 15 years ago, and is the subject of a slew of other criminal investigations, including a murder case.

In April, Tymoshenko went on a hunger strike in jail, accusing prison guards of punching her in the stomach and twisting her limbs.

Since then, Western concern over her arrest has grown, and European leaders boycotted Euro 2012 soccer matches this summer to protest her detention.

"All this process has been prearranged and prewritten by the regime," said Tymoshenko's daughter, Eugenia, who attended Tuesday's hearing.

On Wednesday, Ukraine's highest court is scheduled to rule on her detention; previous rulings have consistently upheld the government, and Eugenia Tymoshenko said she held out little hope that the next decision would be different.

The government's lawyer, Nazar Kulchitsky, denied Yulia Tymoshenko had been mistreated in prison, saying an inquiry determined that the prominent bruises were either self-inflicted or simply the manifestation of an earlier illness. When pressed by a judge, he could not explain how Tymoshenko could have bruised herself. Kulchitsky said Tymoshenko repeatedly refused medical treatment while in detention.

He acknowledged that she had been under video surveillance in violation of her privacy, but said there were no recordings of her. He offered little explanation for why Tymoshenko's cellmate was taken away just before the time when the former prime minister said she was attacked by the guards, except to say that she was supposed to undergo a medical check.

After the hearing, Kulchitsky questioned the former prime minister's allegations that the case against her was political.

"The fact that Tymoshenko was a political figure is not enough to say that she was a victim of political repression," he said.

He also denied that Tymoshenko was arrested because she acted disrespectfully to the court: "The only grounds for her arrest was that she was trying to hide the truth."

Tymoshenko's lawyer, Sergei Vlasenko, said the case against the former prime minister was rigged and called on the panel of judges in the European Court of Human Rights to rule for her. Ukraine, a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, could face penalties if it loses the case.

"There is no fair judiciary in Ukraine at all , and there is no fair judiciary for Mrs. Tymoshenko," he said. "She is absolutely isolated from any communication with her relatives and with the press. . She asked me to address you asking help."

Ukraine's highest court is scheduled to rule Wednesday on the gas case, and if the decision goes against Tymoshenko as her lawyers expect, she will be able to appeal again to the European court, said Roman Kuybida, an analyst with the Kiev-based Center for Political and Legal Reforms.

Tymoshenko's following remains strong in Ukraine, where demonstrations at the prison in support of her can grow to thousands of people crying "Freedom for Yulia!"

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Associated Press writer Anna Melnichuck in Kiev, Ukraine, contributed to this report.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko speaks to press in front of a court building in Kiev on on August 5, 2011, moments before she was arrested. A Kiev court placed former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko under arrest, amid her trial on charges of abuse of power while in office, an AFP correspondent reported.(Getty)

  • Supporters of Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko cheer and shout slogans in front of the Pechersk district court on August 8, 2011 in Kiev as Tymoshenko's return to trial today on charges of abuse of power over gas deals she signed with Russia in 2009. (Getty)

  • A supporter of detained Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko demonstrates with hundreds of people in Kiev on August 24, 2011, trying to march to the offices of President Viktor Yanukovych and defying a court ban to stage a tense protest on Independence Day. A Kiev court banned the day before the protest which is being held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Ukrainian parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. (Getty)

  • A Ukrainian opposition lawmaker stands on September 6, 2011 next to a giant poster, featuring former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with the slogan, reading: 'No political repression,' in the parliament while President Viktor Yanukovych addresses the floor during a ceremony marking the opening of a new parliament session in Kiev. Tymoshenko's supporters argue her ongoing trial on abuse of power charges and her arrest are part of a vendetta pursued by the Regions Party of Yanukovych against her faction. (Getty)

  • A huge poster placed by opposition lawmakers, featuring former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with slogans, reading: 'No political repression' and 'Free Ukraine!' covers a part of the Ukrainian Parliament while President Viktor Yanukovych addresses the floor on September 6, 2011 during a ceremony marking the opening of a new parliament session in Kiev. (Getty Images)

  • Police officers block on September 27, 2011 supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in front of the Pechersk district court in Kiev. Ukraine began final hearings on September 27 in the trial of Tymoshenko after a two-week suspension that saw Kiev come under renewed EU pressure to release the opposition leader and ex-premier. Tymoshenko's abuse of power trial has set the current leadership at odds with the European Union in the heat of crunch negotiations on Ukraine taking the first step towards European Union membership. (Getty)

  • Riot policemen block supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in front of the Pechersk district court in Kiev on September 27, 2011. Ukrainian prosecutors today demanded a seven-year sentence for opposition leader and ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko in an abuse of power trial that has undermined Kiev's budding relations with the EU. (Getty )

  • An elderly woman, supporter of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko holds placards with her portraits during a protest in front of Pechersk district court in Kiev on September 28, 2011. (Getty )

  • A woman, supporter of former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko, shouts slogans before a line of police in front of Pechersk district court in Kiev on September 30, 2011. The court on Friday announced the judge will start reading the verdict on Tymoshenko's case from October 11. (Getty)

  • A protester forms a heart shape with his hands as he demonstrates his support for Yulia Tymoshenko outside the court where she is being tried, after breaking a police cordon, in Kiev, on September 30, 2011. (Getty)

  • A police vehicle supposedly carrying Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko leaves the Pechersk district court in Kiev on September 30, 2011. (Getty)

  • Supporters of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko shout slogans in front of Pechersk district court in Kiev on September 30, 2011. (Getty)

  • Supporters of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko breal a police line in front of Pechersk district court in Kiev on November 11, 2011. (Getty )

  • Ukraine's former Yulia Tymoshenko (L), her daughter Yevgenia and husband Alexander react after Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Kiev Pechersky court rendered his verdict on her case on October 11, 2011. Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail for abusing her powers in a 2009 gas deal with Russia, a verdict that is set to harm ties with the European Union. Kireyev said the 10-year contract for gas imports from Russia had sustained heavy losses for Ukraine and ruled that her actions were criminal. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Riot policemen block supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (appearing on a poster) in front of Pechersk district court in Kiev on October 11, 2011.(Getty)

  • Lawyer Mykola Siryi (L) looks at his client Yulia Tymoshenko in court in Kiev on October 11, 2011. A Ukrainian judge on Tuesday sentenced former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in jail for abusing her powers in a 2009 gas deal with Russia, a verdict that is set to harm ties with the European Union. Amid emotional scenes in the packed court, judge Rodion Kireyev said the 10 year contract for gas imports from Russia had sustained heavy losses for Ukraine and ruled that her actions were criminal. (Getty)

  • Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko listens as Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Kiev Pechersky court reads his verdict on her case on October 11, 2011. (Getty)

  • Policemen escort Ukraine's former Yulia Tymoshenko out of the court after Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Kiev Pechersky court rendered his verdict on her case on October 11, 2011. (Getty)

  • Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (L), her daughter Yevgenia and husband Alexander react after Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Kiev Pechersky court rendered his verdict on her case on October 11, 2011. (Getty)

  • Special police hold back the crowd of journalists trying to go to Kiev Pechersky court to cover Yulia Tymoshenko verdict reading in Kiev on October 11, 2011. (Getty Images)

  • Pro-Yulia Tymoshenko protesters demonstrate their support as they sit and shout slogans outside the court. (Getty)

  • Supporters of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko break a police line in front of Pechersk district court in Kiev on October 11, 2011. (Getty Images)