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KHARKOV, May 19 (Itar-Tass) —— European Parliament Vice President Jacek Protasiewicz visited former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko in a Kharkov hospital on Saturday, May 19.
He said prior to the visit that he would discuss her condition, medical treatment and the political situation in Ukraine.
Protasiewicz met with Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka in Kiev on Friday, May 18, to hear his views on “high- profile cases under investigation in Ukraine”.
The European Parliament vice president spent three hours with Timoshenko and left in a car without stopping at a group of reporters and Timoshenko’s supporters who were waiting nearby.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said earlier that an agreement had been reached with the Ukrainian authorities that a group of European medical experts and physicians would go to Kharkov to assess Timoshenko’s condition and medical treatment.
Since May 9, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, U.S. Ambassador in Kiev John Tefft, Thomas O. Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, and PACE officials have visited Timoshenko at the hospital.
On Friday, May 18, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said the question of Timoshenko’s medical treatment abroad would be solved in accordance with effective Ukrainian laws. “There must be appropriate decisions within the law” for Timoshenko to be able to go abroad for medical treatment, he said.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said earlier that medical care abroad for convicts was not allowed by law.
A draft law allowing Timoshenko, who is serving her term in prison, to undergo medical treatment abroad has been submitted to experts for evaluation.
The opposition demands that Timoshenko, who has been sentenced to seven years in prison, be allowed to go to Germany for medical treatment. Russia has offered medical treatment to Timoshenko as well. However Ukrainian legislation does not allow that, the Prosecutor General's Office said.
Timoshenko is now taking a course of treatment at Kharkov's railway hospital under the supervision of Lutz Harms of the German Charite Clinic.
She fell ill on August 18, 2011, two weeks after her arrest. Her lawyers say that she “has been in bed for about four months”.
Physicians believe that Timoshenko has discal hernia. She has been complaining about pains in the back. Her lawyers claim that her condition was worsening despite medical treatment.
Timoshenko mistrusts Ukrainian medics and rejected their help. She insists that she be examined by independent medics.
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 national interests.
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.
Timoshenko is also facing new charges as former head of the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine.