Tymoshenko, 51, was sentenced in October to a seven-years imprisonment for abuse of office in a case that Western authorities see as politically motivated. Her sentencing derailed the signing of an Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union (see background).
Back from a visit to Kyiv, Roithová (European People's Party, Czech Repbulic) warned that Tymoshenko "could be exposed to toxic substances".
Roithová was in the Ukrainian capital from 19 to 21 February to consult with a wider circle of people about the health situation of Tymoshenko, who has complained of health problems. The Czech lawmaker stressed that her mission was humanitarian, not political.
"I was given part of the medical records of Yulia Tymoshenko from November 2011, which clearly shows that even then the medical findings concerning the lumbar spine area required proper treatment with anesthetics, followed by appropriate rest and a further decision on possible surgical solution following more examinations. That would have been the standard procedure. Instead, however, she was deprived of her supportive crutches, she spent endless hours interrogated and was even temporarily deprived of the painkillers," Roithová describes her findings in a written statement.
"Following this mission, I will be taking much more seriously the concerns of Tymoshenko's family, who fear that Yulia Tymoshenko could be exposed to toxic substances so she would succumb to the pressure upon her. It is therefore necessary that the international community insists that the Ukraine allow for independent analysis of the tissue samples of Yulia Tymoshenko on regular basis in the future," the MEP writes.
Roithová, a former head of the Královské Vinohrady Faculty Hospital in Prague, said she appreciates the engagement and work of the foreign doctors who examined Tymoshenko last week.
German news media reported that Tymoshenko is "seriously ill" after doctors from Berlin’s Charité hospital examined the former prime minister, without providing details.
In Ukraine, Yevhen Pedachenko of the Romodanov Neurosurgery Institute said Tymoshenko's condition did not require surgical intervention.
But Roithová said she was concerned about the "misinformation campaign" that followed the visit of the foreign doctors.
"Yulia Tymoshenko's health raises concerns that she has been maltreated while being in prison. I will forward the conclusions of my mission and my recommendations to Tymoshenko family and to the European People's Party Group in the coming days," Roithová said.