KHARKOV, January 14 (Itar-Tass) – Former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko has refused to take rehabilitation procedures at Kharkov’s railway hospital where she is undergoing medical treatment, its chief physician Mikhail Afanasyev said.
“There is a nurse to take care of her 24 hours a day, and a doctor visits her daily. Yulia Timoshenko receives medicines in full but does not want to take rehabilitation procedures,” he said on Monday, January 14.
According to Afanasyev, Timoshenko is under constant medical supervision and het condition is “satisfactory”.
However her lawyers have denied this and claim that Timoshenko’s condition is deteriorating and back pain is increasing.
“There is more pain now. No treatment is provided. While she could sit more or less lately without changing the position of her back, one can see very clearly now that she is experiencing pain,” lawyer and MP Sergei Vlasenko said at a briefing.
He said Timoshenko continues to stay in the corridor and leaves it only to meet with her lawyers, and pointed to improper conditions.
“Just for you to get an idea of how surrealistic the situation is, the toilet is not locked at all even through it is used by both men and women, it’s a shared toilet room. However the room for meetings with lawyers is locked when lawyers meet with Yulia Vladimirovna,” Vlasenko said.
At the same time, the State Penitentiary Service said that the conditions in which Timoshenko is staying “comply with the norms of Ukrainian and international law”.
“Video surveillance in the premises where the convict is held is lawful and complies with international standards for keeping persons who serve their time in correctional facilities,” the Service said.
On January 8, Timoshenko started an act of civil disobedience and spent a night in the hospital’s shower room.
“She [Timoshenko] was in the corridor first and then moved to the shower room and spent the night there. A cot was put in the shower room and a warm blanket was provided,” Andrei Lapinsky, deputy head of the State Penitentiary Service’s department in the Kharkov region, said earlier.
He could not say where exactly in the hospital the former prime minister is now.
Timoshenko sent an open letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, which was read out by Vlasenko.
Timoshenko said she would not talk with prosecutors and investigators. “Starting today I will not communicate with them or give explanations,” she said.
She also refused to go to court which she described as “inquisitorial”. “You will have to bring me to court using brutal physical force. I will resist as much as my strength and life allow me,” Timoshenko said.
She also warned that she would no longer allow herself and her personal belongings to be examined and would not return to her hospital room as long as video cameras and guards remain there.
Political scientist Vladimir Fesenko believes that by starting her disobedience act Timoshenko wants to provoke a conflict in order to attract the attention of the European and world community. “Timoshenko’s style is to break a calm situation, act in an unusual way and provoke a conflict. I think she is trying to push her opponents in power towards a conflict which then can be used for information and political purposes and thus attract the attention of the world community once again,” he said.
In his opinion, Timoshenko’s open letter “is also her sign to other opposition MPs that they should pay this attention and elaborate on the issue in the Verkhovna Rada”.
Timoshenko is now undergoing medical treatment at a hospital in Kharkov. She fell ill on August 18, 2011, two weeks after her arrest.
Physicians believe that Timoshenko has discal hernia. She had 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.