Ukraine’s State Penitentiary Service has allowed ex-prime minister Yulia Timoshenko to meet in hospital with her party fellows Aresny Yetsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov and Grigory Nemyrya as an exception, its press service reported on Sunday.
“Despite inmate Timoshenko’s rude violation of rules and standing orders, disregard for legal requirements of the penitentiary service as well as taking into consideration the fact that the inmate has long exhausted the limit of short-term meetings envisaged by the penitentiary code, the length of a meeting with the above persons is restricted and will not exceed an hour-and-a-half,” the report said.
The website of the opposition Batkivshchina Party posted on Saturday a video address of the ex-prime minister in which she urged people to fight “the mafia” in the upcoming elections and described her time in prison as “hell”.
The address was recorded on a mobile phone by the lawyer of the inmate, parliament deputy Sergei Vlasenko. Friday saw a conflict at the hospital where Timoshenko undergoes medical treatment in connection with an attempt of a group of her allies to meet with her for a “party session”.
As a sign of protest, Timoshenko who constantly complains about pains in the back and allegedly cannot walk without a walking frame, took off a high-heeled shoe and tried to smash a door window with it. This was video recorded by staffers of the Kachanivska penal colony who guard Timoshenko in hospital.
The opposition leader was taken into custody on August 5, 2011. On October 11, 2011, Timoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for having acted in excess of her powers which had resulted in damage to national interests.
Timoshenko has also been barred from holding public positions for three years and has to pay a penalty of 189 million U.S. dollars in damages to Naftogaz Ukrainy.
In late December 2011, Timoshenko was transferred from the investigation prison to a correctional facility in the eastern Kharkov region. The defense repeatedly spoke about Timoshenko’s health problems back when she was held in Kiev’s pre-trial detention centre and demanded an examination by independent medics as Timoshenko does not trust Ukrainian medics. On May 9 she was transferred to the Kharkov railway hospital.