Updated January 18, 2013, 4:11 p.m. ET
Ex-Ukraine Premier Accused of Murder .
By JAMES MARSON
MOSCOW—Ukrainian prosecutors accused jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of ordering the murder of a lawmaker and businessman in the 1990s, as her lawyer said her health had rapidly deteriorated.
The murder claim, presented Friday, threatened to drive a deeper wedge between Ukraine and the West, which has already cooled relations with the former Soviet republic over Ms. Tymoshenko's jailing in 2011 on abuse-of-office charges.
That would leave Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych increasingly isolated as he resists pressure from neighbor Russia for closer political and economic ties in return for a cheaper price for natural-gas supplies.
General Prosecutor Viktor Pshonka told Ukrainian media on Friday that investigators had completed their investigation into the killing of businessman and lawmaker Yevhen Shcherban in 1996 and concluded that Ms. Tymoshenko and an ally had ordered the murder, paying the killers $2.8 million, Mr. Pshonka's office said in a statement. He didn't say if or when she would be formally charged. A spokesman for the general prosecutor couldn't be reached for further comment.