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KIEV, January 4 (Itar-Tass) —— A Ukrainian Health Ministry commission will examine former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko at a correctional facility within the next several days, the State Penitentiary Service said on Wednesday, January 4.
“Reports about the conditions of Timoshenko’s detention and her health are wrong and aimed to misinform society,” the service said.
Upon arrival at the correctional facility, Timoshenko was offered to undergo a medical examination and take tests, but she refused and notified the facility administration thereof in writing.
“During the day Timoshenko receives all the necessary medicines prescribed to her in accordance with the recommendations of the Ukrainian Health Ministry commission and she is being constantly watched by the facility’s medical personnel. Her condition has been assessed as fair. At the same time, a new commission of leading specialists ion different fields of medicine has been set up together with the Health Ministry and it will examine Timoshenko within days,” the service said.
Under existing laws, all cells at the facility are provided with video cameras and night lighting. “The night-light in the cell Timoshenko shares with another woman is a mere 5 watt bulb and its light is directed towards the floor and cannot disturb her sleep,” the service said.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich earlier ordered that Timoshenko be given medical treatment by European standards.
“I have lately heard many complaints from former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko’s lawyers about the conditions of her incarceration, and I instructed all institutions concerned to create all conditions by European standards,” Yanukovich said, referring to “treatment, examination and conditions of custody”.
He recalled that the criminal case against Timoshenko was opened in 2009 by a decision of the Ukrainian national security and Defence Council. “We got it [the case] by way of inheritance, so to speak. Timoshenko was not an opposition leader at that time and was the prime minister of Ukraine,” the president said.
Timoshenko’s lawyers say her defendant is suffering from back pain and stays in bed practically all the time, and there are signs of haemorrhage on her body.
Medics say that Timoshenko needs no medical treatment outside the prison. The Penitentiary Service claims that she gets all the necessary proper medical care.
Timoshenko’s defence said it did not trust the results of the medical examination. “We do not know what medical manipulations were made and do not trust the diagnostic test,” her lawyer Sergei Vlasenko said.
“The defence cannot trust the results of this examination and the diagnosis made,” he added.
The State Penitentiary Service has been repeatedly trying to organise medical examination for Timoshenko but she refused all such attempts.
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 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 prison.
Timoshenko was finally examined in the investigation prison in November, before her transfer to the correctional facility.
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.
However Vlasenko said that Timoshenko’s condition had deteriorated and she could not move without help.
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.
The medics who examined Timoshenko found no health problems that could prevent the investigation of her case.
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.