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KIEV, January 14, 23:27 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s penitentiary service has denied journalist access to the country’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is serving a prison term for acting in excess of her office duties while signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009.
The service said on Tuesday there were “neither grounds nor possibilities” to satisfy Timoshenko’s requests to allow journalists to meet with her in prison.
A spokesman for the service said Timoshenko was a “convict serving a prison sentence on charges of committing a grave crime” and added that “physically she is not kept in a penitentiary but is staying at a hospital.” “A special guarded ward has been organized in the hospital for the convict and it is impossible to organize news conferences or briefings there,” the spokesman said.
Timoshenko was sentenced to a prison term of seven years in October 2011. Since May 9, 2012, she has been undergoing medical treatment at a Kharkov-based hospital.