Viktor Medvedchuk, the Ukrainian opposition leader who is a close friend of Vladimir Putin, is to spend two months under house arrest while awaiting trial for high treason.

A Kyiv judge rejected yesterday a prosecutor’s request for jail in lieu of bail of nearly $11 million. The Russian president is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter. In the 424-member Rada, Medvedchuk leads the largest opposition group, the 44-member Opposition Platform – For Life.