KIEV, July 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko demanded that the State Penitentiary Service allow her to make a telephone call and threatened to break the window in her hospital room if she is denied it.
“Timoshenko submitted a written request to the head of the Kachanivska Penal Colony [where she is serving her prison term]. The State Penitentiary Service believes it necessary to inform the public about this incident in order to avoid provocations of any kind in the future on the part of MPs and the sentenced person’s lawyers,” the State Penitentiary Service said in a statement on Wednesday, July 18.
“The prisoner demanded that the administration of the colony allow her to make a telephone call. State Penitentiary Service officials explained to Timoshenko that under effective legislation she has such a right and would be able to use it in a special room at the correctional facility, using a fixed-line pay phone as provided for in the regulatory documents and instructions of the Ukrainian penitentiary system,” the press service said.
“In addition, it was explained to Timoshenko that penitentiary service officials may not provide their own mobile phones to prisoners for private calls” but “Timoshenko informed the administration of the colony in written form that she would break the window in her hospital room in order to ‘talk with whoever I think necessary using telephone of my supporters outside my hospital room’,” the State Penitentiary Service quoted Timoshenko’s letter as saying.
“Penitentiary service officials continue to talk with Timoshenko,” the press service added.
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.
On October 20, 2011, the Prosecutor General's Office cancelled the decision to close the criminal case against Timoshenko in which she was charged with embezzlement of more than 25 million hryvnia (more than 10 million U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of 1995-1997, when Timoshenko headed the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine) and tax evasion in the amount of more than 20 million hryvnia.
On October 11, 2011, Kiev's Pechersky District Court sentenced Yulia Timoshenko to seven years in prison.
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.