BRUSSELS, April 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Commission has demanded urgent explanations of the Ukrainian authorities about the situation of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who went on a hunger strike at the Kharkov penitentiary in protest against her alleged beating by penitentiary guards.
The European Commission also demanded the access of competent persons and lawyers to Timoshenko.
Timoshenko’s lawyer Sergei Vlasenko said that his client went on a hunger strike on April 20 to protest against her beating during the transfer from a Kharkov hospital to the penitentiary. He said he saw bruises on Timoshenko’s body.
“That is a protest against everything that is going on in the country and is happening to me personally,” Timoshenko said.
Timoshenko is serving a seven-year-term in Kharkov. The court sentenced her on October 11, 2011, for exceeding her authority in the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009. She was also compelled to pay 1.51 billion hryvni (almost $200 million) to Neftegaz Ukrainy.
A new case against her was opened on October 13, 2011, for writing off the debt of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine private corporation to the Russian Defense Ministry worth $405,500,000 to the state budget of Ukraine, while being the corporation president, under conspiracy with other former Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko.