Tymoshenko to be treated at Ukrainian clinic

Jailed ex-prime minister to be treated under supervision of German doctors in city where she is jailed, her lawyer says.

    Tymoshenko to be treated at Ukrainian clinic
    Dr Karl Max Einhaeupl of Berlin's Charite clinic, centre, has arrived in Ukraine to examine Tymoshenko [Reuters]

    Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's jailed former prime minister, has tentatively agreed to receive medical treatment at a local hospital under the supervision of a German doctor, her lawyer has said.

    Serhiy Vlasenko said on Saturday that the treatment of Tymoshenko's herniated disc will start on Tuesday at a hospital in the eastern city of Kharkiv where she is jailed.

    He said she will give her final approval after meeting with her lawyers next week.

    Dr Karl Max Einhaeupl of Berlin's Charite clinic, who has arrived in Ukraine to examine Tymoshenko, said a colleague of his would observe the treatment.

    Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, confirmed the deal securing treatment for Tymoshenko with the German doctors' participation, saying it was a positive first step and talks with the Ukrainian leadership to achieve a sustainable solution will continue.

    The deal comes a day after Ukraine rejected an offer by Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin, who offered to host the jailed leader in Moscow for treatment after claims of abuse in detention.

    Tymoshenko, 51, has been on hunger strike since April 20 to protest her alleged beating by wardens in a prison where she is serving a seven-year term for abuse of office - charges some say were politically motivated.

    Criminal probe rejected

    Viktor Pshonka, the Ukrainian prosecutor general, has rejected a criminal probe into the incident, saying that there were no grounds to assert that Tymoshenko had been beaten.

    "We do not rule out that she hurt herself deliberately. We cannot make any conclusion without forensic medical examination, which she did not give consent for," he said.

    Putin made the offer in a bid to defuse the crisis that is putting pressure on the Ukraine ahead of it co-hosting next month of the Euro 2012 football tournament with Poland.

    But he has also rallied to his neighbour's defence by saying he disagreed with EU states' attempts to mix politics with sport.

    Al Jazeera's Sue Turton said the reaction to Putin's offer was the same response the Ukrainian authorities gave to Germany after it also offered Tymoshenko medical attention there.

    Germany, along with other countries including the UK and the Netherlands, are considering a boycott of Euro 2012.

    Politicians from Austria and Belgium have already said they will not attend, in protest against Tymoshenko's treatment by Kiev authorities.

    European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has also made a decision to skip the games.

    'Politicise sporting events'

    In a statement released by its foreign ministry on Thursday, Ukraine said: "We view as destructive attempts to politicise sporting events, which since ancient times have played a paramount role in improving understanding and agreement between nations.

    Poland has criticised Tymoshenko's imprisonment, with Donald Tusk, the prime minister, saying Ukraine's reputation will "suffer dramatically" if no humanitarian solution is found.

    There have been reports that the presidents of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Slovenia have rejected an invitation to the Ukrainian Summit of Central and Eastern leaders to be held in the resort city of Yalta next week.

    Despite Western pressure, President Victor Yanukovych, who narrowly beat Tymoshenko in the 2010 presidential election, has refused to intervene to free her.

    Tymoshenko was one of the leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution protests which doomed Yanukovych's first bid for presidency but failed to produce a strong ruling coalition, allowing him to make a comeback in 2010.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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