Kiev, Jan 18 (Agencies): Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, charged with abuse of power and fraud, has said she would not flee the country, after a close aide sought political asylum in the Czech Republic.

"I will not leave my country… Time will come when they will flee because they're the ones who are committing real crimes," the former Prime Minister was quoted as saying.

The charges against her involve the misappropriation of government money—hundreds of millions of euros allotted for environmental spending—when she was prime minister.

Czech authorities last week granted asylum to her former Economy Minister Bogdan Danylyshyn, who has also been charged with abuse of power.

A raft of former senior members of her government has come under investigation after Timoshenko lost presidential elections to Viktor Yanukovich in February. Two former ministers have been arrested.

Since she stepped down in March she has accused Yanukovych of repeated attempts to silence her and sharply criticised his policies, particularly his efforts to build closer ties with Soviet-era master Russia.

Yanukovich says that he is only fighting corruption.