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Prosecutor General’s Office may invite foreign medics for Timoshenko

January 18, 2012, 21:30 UTC+3

Timoshenko has also refused to take the medicines prescribed to her by Health Ministry officials

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KIEV, January 18 (Itar-Tass) —— The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said it would be ready to arrange for the work of an international medical group to examine former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko.

“In reply to an appeal from the ambassadors of the EU countries, the United States and international medical organisations, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine is ready, within its jurisdiction, to support the work of a joint medical group for an independent examination of Timoshenko,” the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office said on Wednesday, January 18.

The Prosecutor General’s Office is ready to “provide for the participation of any medical specialist for both her examination and treatment if need be,” the press service said.

Galina Siroshtan of the Ukrainian Health Ministry said that Timoshenko was offered on January 17 to undergo medical examination in “any laboratory in Kharkov, but she refused”.

Timoshenko has also refused to take the medicines prescribed to her by Health Ministry officials.

“Timoshenko has filed a written statement to the administration of Kachanivska Penal Colony No. 54, in which she refused to take the medicines prescribed to her by Ukrainian Health Ministry specialists,” the press service of the State Penitentiary Service said earlier.

Timoshenko also “refused to talk to the colony medical personnel”.

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”.

However Vlasenko said that Timoshenko’s condition had deteriorated and she could not move without help. He named specifically vertebrae problems. “She stays in bed practically all the time,” he added.

But 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 stressed that there were no political implications in the case. "In this case, as in all others, we act strictly within the powers given to us by law, without any political motives. Tax police do not deal with political persecutions," Yakovinets said.

He said tax police had combined four criminal cases against Timoshenko into one.

On October 11, 2011, 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.

In late December 2011, Timoshenko was transferred from the investigation prison to a correctional facility in the eastern Kharkov region.

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