KHARKOV, October 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko is leaving the Kharkov railway hospital where she has been undergoing medical treatment for several months under the supervision of German doctors.
“The State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine gave me a document today on the termination of the treatment and discharge from hospital,” Timoshenko said in a statement on Monday, October 1. “These very minutes as I write this, a new cage is being built around me, basic necessities are being taken away, the toilet room has been locked and the number of security guards has been trebled in order to break me and my will. The Penitentiary Service has given me a paper on the termination of treatment and discharge from hospital as yet another act of vengeance for my position,” Timoshenko said in the statement that was read out outside the hospital by her lawyer Alexander Plakhotnyuk.
He claimed that Timoshenko’s condition has worsened.
The State Penitentiary Service said earlier it had doubts about the advisability of Timoshenko’s further medical treatment at the Kharkov railway hospital.
“Taking into account the unlawful behaviour of the prisoner, violations of the security regime by her lawyer and fellow party members, and given the considerable improvement in the prisoner’s motor activity, the State Penitentiary Services of Ukraine is preparing an official petition to the members of the medical commission, asking them to provide their opinion as to whether it would be advisable or not to keep Timoshenko in hospital further,” the service said.
In her video address posted on her official website, Timoshenko urged people to fight “the mafia” in the upcoming elections and described her time in prison as “hell”.
On Friday, September 28, the administration of the Kachanivska Penal Colony, where Timoshenko is serving her prison term, denied her a meeting with opposition members Arseny Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov and Grigory Nemyrya.
In September, Timoshenko asked the Kachanivska prison administration to allow her a short meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, and her party deputies. The request was written in accordance with Article 110 of the Penal Code, which states that any prisoner has the right once a month to have a short meeting with relatives, friends, etc., with no more than four people at once.
Timoshenko’s last meeting was with EU Ambassador to Ukraine Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira on August 11, 2012.
September 21 was the last day of Timoshenko's eight-week rehabilitation course recommended by the German specialists. “Usually, a Ukrainian patient stays in hospital for no more than 21 days. This is a generally accepted practice. Even in situations that are much more critical than that of Timoshenko patients are discharged and they remain under supervision but do not stay in hospital all the time,” the Kharkov railway hospital's chief doctor Mikhail Afanasyev said earlier.
Timoshenko fell ill on August 18, 2011, two weeks after her arrest. She was taken to hospital on May 9 after a 20-day hunger strike
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.