KIEV, May 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which is examining the case of former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, has requested information on the conditions of her custody and medical treatment.
The request was conveyed to Ukraine’s State Penitentiary Service, which claims that “all the necessary conditions have been created for the inmates [at the Kachanivska penal colony] required by national and international laws”, including living, sanitary and medical ones.
The court asked the Ukrainian authorities to provide adequate medical treatment to Timoshenko and on March 15, 2012 urged the Ukrainian government, under Rule 391 of the Rules of Court, to ensure that Timoshenko receive adequate medical treatment in an appropriate institution.
Timoshenko, born in 1960, is the leader of Batkivshchyna, the main opposition party in Ukraine, and of Yulia Timoshenko’s Block. She was the Prime Minister of Ukraine in 2005 and between December 2007 and March 2010. Criminal proceedings were brought against her for allegedly making an illegal order for the signing of a contract concerning gas imports. On October 11, 2011, she was convicted as charged, including of abuse of power, and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and a three-year ban on holding public office. Her subsequent appeal on points of law is currently pending.
Her application was lodged with the Court on August 10, 2011. She alleges, in particular: that her criminal prosecution and detention were politically motivated; that there has been no judicial review of the lawfulness of her detention in Kiev’s investigation prison No. 13; and, that her detention conditions are inadequate, with no medical care provided for her numerous health problems. She relies principally on Article 3 (prohibition of degrading treatment or punishment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
On December 30, 2011, Timoshenko was transferred to the Kachanivska Correctional Colony in Kharkov. On March 14, 2012 she applied before the Court for an interim measure, asking to be transferred to an appropriate medical institution in view of her health.
The Court decided on December 14, 2011 to give priority to the case - Timoshenko v. Ukraine (application no. 49872/11) - in view of the serious and sensitive nature of the allegations raised. Notice of the application has been given to the Ukrainian Government who have been requested to submit observations by March 22, 2012.