Jailed ex-Ukraine premier refuses state hospital treatment | News | DW | 22.04.2012
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Jailed ex-Ukraine premier refuses state hospital treatment

Ukrainian opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has refused treatment at a state-run hospital and has returned to jail under circumstances her lawyer describes as "absurd."

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko returned to jail on Sunday after she refused treatment for severe back pain at a state-run hospital.

"First Tymoshenko was secretly taken to a hospital at night on Friday… and then on Sunday she was suddenly returned to jail," her political party Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) said in a statement. Tymoshenko's lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko called the back-and-forth shuttling "absurd."

Tymoshenko previously said she did not trust any state-appointed doctors. She was taken to a hospital in Kharkiv belonging to the state-owned railway company, located in the same city as her prison.

German doctors who examined Tymoshenko for her herniated disc recommended urgent treatment in a specialized clinic. They inspected the Kharkiv hospital where she was briefly moved, but have made no public statements.

The state prison service said that Tymoshenko was moved back to prison Sunday because she "categorically" refused treatment at the clinic.

Currently serving a seven-year term on charges of abuse of office, Tymoshenko is also facing charges of tax evasion and attempted embezzlement in a separate trial which carries a sentence of up to 12 years. Tymoshenko has denied any wrongdoing in both cases, dismissing them as part of a campaign of repression by the government of President Viktor Yanukovich.

The case and treatment of the former prime minister has damaged Ukraine's ties with the West. The European Union described the case as an example of selective justice and has warned Ukraine that its members will not ratify key bilateral agreements on political association and free trade while Tymoshenko remains in prison.

jm/acb (Reuters, AP)