Yulia Tymoshenko Transferred to Hospital to be Treated by German Doctors
KYIV, Ukraine, May 9, 2012
KYIV, Ukraine, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Ukraine's former premier Yulia Tymoshenko has been moved on Wednesday from her prison to a hospital in the eastern city of Kharkiv for the treatment of a suspected herniated spinal disc, under the supervision of German neurologist Lutz Harms and his team from the Berlin's Charité clinic.
The German doctors stated that "the Ukrainian authorities have taken considerable measures for Y. Tymoshenko to create the conditions for her treatment and rehabilitation. The hospital has plenty of prerequisites/possibilities for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with intervertebral disc problems."
According to the Ukrainian Health Ministry "Mrs. Tymoshenko was offered to move to the hospital already on Tuesday, but the patient refused."
The decision to move her to a hospital in the Ukraine to be treated by German doctors was taken after Kyiv's authorities had reiterated that, under Ukrainian law, a convict could not be treated abroad and that no exceptions were possible. Tymoshenko had previously received massages from her personal masseuse, who brought her own massage table to the prison to alleviate Tymoshenko's back pain.
Tymoshenko also ended a 19-day hunger strike she began on April 20th to protest against an earlier attempt to move her to a hospital for treatment of her back pain and rehabilitation procedures, an action that prosecutors and prison authorities have defended as in line with Ukraine's penitentiary codes.
Last Friday, a report carried out by the Kharkiv prosecutor's office concluded that the mistreatment allegations by Tymoshenko could not be confirmed, as the ex-Prime Minister refused to take further forensic examination and provide additional explanations around specific aspects. Prosecutors also interviewed all persons who were involved in previous transfers of Tymoshenko, yet no one could corroborate that any harm was inflicted.
The investigation in particular pointed out that the bruises, shown by Tymoshenko in widely published pictures in the world's press, do not correspond to the date of the alleged incident, and it is therefore "possible that their appearance may not refer to the circumstances she has mentioned."
Yulia Tymoshenko was jailed last October and is serving a 7-year sentence for abuse of office for agreeing to a controversial gas contract with Russia while she was Prime Minister in 2009, a deal considered damaging for Ukraine's national interest and ruinous for its economy by most observers in and outside the country.