KIEV, May 4 (Itar-Tass) —— The Kharkov Prosecutor’s Office has refused to open a criminal case over the alleged beating of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko by personnel of the Kharkov penitentiary, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka told a Friday press conference.
He said the prosecutors made the decision after the police had scrutinized the situation. “I ordered the Kharkov regional prosecutor and his subordinates to analyze the Timoshenko statement. Here is the three-volume verification report. The report ends with the refusal to open a criminal case,” he said, adding that the Kharkov prosecutors made their decision on May 3.
In Pshonka’s words, the Prosecutor General’s Office closely studied the report and upheld the decision of Kharkov colleagues. “There is no confirmation that Timoshenko really lost consciousness in the alleged beating. The chronology of the events and testimonies of witnesses show that the statement is wrong. There is no confirmation to it,” he said.
Timoshenko, serving a seven-year-term in Kharkov after the court sentenced her on October 11, 2011, for exceeding the authority in the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009, went on a hunger strike on April 20 after personnel of the Kharkov penitentiary used force against her during the transfer to the hospital.
She said three people tried to pull her off the cot in the evening of April 20 for transporting her to the hospital. She also said she was beaten up to the loss of consciousness when she tried to resist.
The Ukrainian media published photographs of bruises of Timoshenko and an expert opinion. Online editions said they received the photos from Ukrainian Human Rights Ombudsman Nina Karpacheva. The photographs taken on April 25 showed bruises on Timoshenko’s wrists, a forearm, an elbow and the belly.
Other experts said later that the Timoshenko bruises could not have appeared in her transportation to the hospital. “Experts acknowledged the bruises. Judging by their color, they were one or two days old. Hence the bruises could not have appeared on April 20 under the circumstances declared by Yulia Vladimirovna,” deputy head of the forensic medicine faculty of the Kharkov Post-Graduate Medicine Academy Alexander Gurov said.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office to verify the alleged abuse.