Tymoshenko to receive treatment outside prison
Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko will receive treatment for her back problems in a hospital outside the Kharkiv prison where she is presently detained, the country's authorities announced yesterday (2 April).
The news comes from Deputy Health Minister Raisa Moiseyenko who said Tymoshenko has agreed to inpatient treatment after a medical commission visited her yesterday.
Two medical institutes were mentioned: the Central Clinical Hospital of the Southern Railway and the Sitenko Institute of Spine and Joint Pathology (both in Kharkiv).
In response to journalists' questions about Tymoshenko's possible treatment abroad, Raisa Moiseyenko, first deputy minister of health stressed the current legislation does not provide such an opportunity for the persons deprived of their liberty.
Mykola Korzh, director of Sitenko Institute of Spine and Joint Pathology, admitted the possibility of involving German doctors in Tymoshenko's additional examination and treatment, the Ukrainian News Agency reported.
Korzh also said that the Sitenko Institute was one of Ukraine's best medical facilities of this type.
Tymoshenko's supporters said her health has declined since her pre-trial detention in August 2011 and that she can longer walk because of back problems. The former prime minister has refused treatment in prison.
In the meantime, the Kyiv Post quoted Tymoshenko's lawyer, who said a preliminary hearing of a court case against her would take place on 19 April.
Oleksandr Plakhotniuk, Tymoshenko's defense lawyer, said that the Kyivsky District Court of Kharkiv will start a preliminary hearing on a criminal case against Tymoshenko concerning the activities of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) Corporation at 10.00 on 19 April 19.
Tymoshenko is reportedly accused of appropriating and attempting to appropriate property that did not belong to her (state funds) via abuse of office and official forgery, tax evasion by UESU Corporation, and individual income tax evasion. These actions were preceded by concealment from the government of the UESU's foreign currency income of €120 million from exports of metal.
The European Union said it was "disappointed" with the sentencing of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in prison over allegations that she abused her office in relation to a gas deal signed with Russia in 2009.
The trial was "politically motivated" and did not respect international standards, the EU said, adding that it "would reflect" on its policies towards Ukraine.
The December 2011 EU-Ukraine Summit failed to initial the country's Association Agreement with the Union, largely due to the imprisonment of Tymoshenko.