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Timoshenko’s condition "very bad", Ukrainian ombudsman says

November 21, 2011, 19:25 UTC+3

Former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is being held in custody, is in “very bad” condition

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KIEV, November 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is being held in custody, is in “very bad” condition, the Ukrainian parliament’s ombudsman Nina Karpacheva said after visiting the investigation prison “without notifying its administration”.

“Timoshenko is in very bad condition, she could not get up from the bed to talk to me. She demands that she be examined and treated outside the investigation prison,” Karpacheva said on Monday, November 21.

On Saturday, November 18, the press service of the State Penitentiary Service said Timoshenko had refused to undergo a medical check-up.

“On November 19, a commission made up of specialists from the Health Ministry of Ukraine, the State Penitentiary Service and her personal doctor and nurse arrived at the investigation prison for an additional examination of Timoshenko”, but Timoshenko “rejected medical examination by this commission”, the press service said.

The investigation prison administration has been trying to give qualified medical help to Timoshenko since August 18, including through her personal doctor and nurse. “But despite that, she has been systematically rejecting proposed procedures... which violates the rules of giving medical attention to people in custody. Timoshenko has been repeatedly warned of personal responsibility for her condition,” the press service said.

Health Ministry specialists said there is no reason for transferring Timoshenko from the investigation prison to hospital.

First Deputy Health Minister Raisa Moiseyenko said earlier that the ministry had set up a commission, as ordered by Kiev’s Pechersky District Court, for examining Timoshenko in the investigation prison.

She noted that Timoshenko’s condition allowed the commission to recommend that she be given treatment at the investigation prison.

Moiseyenko refused to name the diagnosis because “the patient is against making it public”.

“She [Timoshenko] gets up, but at the same time she has been recommended to stay in bed. According to experts’ findings, there are no contraindications to investigative actions,” the official said.

Timoshenko’s her lawyer Sergei Vlasenko said earlier that her condition had deteriorated and she could not move without help, “She came to the meeting with me today helped by investigation prison employees,” he said.

Vlasenko blamed the deterioration of Timoshenko’s health on the conditions of her incarceration.

He named specifically vertebrae problems. “She stays in bed practically all the time,” he added.

The medics who examined Timoshenko advised her to stay in bed and keep away from premises where the temperature of the air is below 14-15 degrees Celsius.

Vlasenko said it was quite cool at the investigation prison. “I got quite cold myself while waiting for Timoshenko at the meeting room,” the lawyer said.

He stressed that despite Timoshenko’s health problems, tax police investigators will try to carry out investigative actions on November 10. “Questioning at a time when a person cannot move on his own is tantamount to torture,” Vlasenko said.

The medics who examined Timoshenko found no health problems that could prevent the investigation of her case.

“Timoshenko’s health is being monitored by medical personnel of the Kiev investigation prison,” the press service of the State Penitentiary Service said earlier in the day.

Vlasenko said on November 7 that her condition had “deteriorated sharply”.

He tried to meet with Timoshenko, but the head of the investigation prison, where she is being held, said that “Yulia Vladimirovna cannot meet me because of a sharp pain in the vertebrae”.

“As a lawyer, I have been denied the opportunity to visit Timoshenko for the next several days,” Vlasenko said.

He noted that the investigation prison management had rejected his suggestion to organise his meetings with Timoshenko in the cell.

The penitentiary service said, “The ex-premier inadvertently provoked a deterioration of the pain syndrome in the lumbar part of spinal cord during a morning walk on November 5.”

On November 10, the Main Investigation Department of the State Tax Service charged Timoshenko with organising the concealment of foreign exchange earnings in the amount of more than 165 million U.S. dollars, embezzlement of budget funds and tax evasion in the amount of more than 47 million hryvnia (about 6 million U.S. dollars).

Yakovinets said the investigators would hope to finish the investigation of the Timoshenko case by the end of this year.

Resolutions on the resumption of the investigation were delivered to Timoshenko on November 4.

Kiev’s Court of Appeals will convene on December 13 for a preliminary hearing on Timoshenko’s complaint challenging her verdict handed down by Kiev’s Pechersky Court that sentenced her to seven years in prison.

On October 25, Timoshenko and her lawyers transferred to the Pechersky Court a complaint against its verdict.

On October 11, Timoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for having acted in excess of her powers which had resulted in damage to the national interests of the country.

Timoshenko has also been barred from holding public positions for three years and has to pay a penalty of 189 million U.S. dollars in damages to Naftogaz Ukrainy.


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