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Ukrainian Prison Officials Say Tymoshenko Rejects Health Check, Lawyer Denies

February 14, 2012

by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

KHARKIV, Ukraine -- Prison authorities say jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has rejected a medical examination by an international panel because it included local doctors.

Her lawyer, Serhey Vlasenko, said the former prime minister was willing to be examined by non-Ukrainian doctors with Ukrainian medical staff present, but would not allow government medical workers to examine her.

Tymoshenko was sentenced in October to seven years in prison on abuse-of-office charges.

She says her health has since worsened and has demanded that international doctors be included in her treatment.

Prison authorities said they were discussing further steps regarding Tymoshenko with German and Canadian doctors who arrived on February 14 at the Kachaniv prison outside the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv to examine her.

Some 100 supporters of Tymoshenko picketed the labor camp on February 14, demanding her release.

Ex-Minister Could Get 4 1/2 Years

Meanwhile, in Kyiv, the prosecutor in the trial of Ukraine’s former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko asked on February 14 that Lutsenko be sentenced to 4 1/2 years in jail and and that he pay some $37,000 in fines for crimes including abuse of office and misappropriation of funds.

Lutsenko, one of the leaders of the Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense parliament faction, was arrested in December 2010 and went on trial in May 2011.

Lutsenko denies the allegations against him, which stem from his time as interior minister in the government of Yulia Tymoshenko.

Lutsenko’s lawyer, Oleksiy Bahanets, told journalists that he was “doubtful his client will be acquitted.”

The lawyer added that he was ready to appeal the verdict.

With agency reports


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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