Topic: Yulia Tymoshenko case
- Tymoshenko Spends Night in Bathroom
- Tymoshenko Declares Civil Disobedience
- Medics Urge Tymoshenko to Stop Hunger-Strike
- Tymoshenko Declares Hunger Strike Over Poll Results
- Tymoshenko Calls for Yanukovych Ouster In New Video
KIEV, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – Imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s health is in critical condition, Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported on Friday, citing her lawyer.
Sergei Vlasenko, who has represented Tymoshenko since 2011, claims he thought Tymoshenko was “dead” when he found her in the shower at the Kharkiv hospital in which she is currently being held.
“I’m not a specialist, but the situation is critical,” he said, adding that she did not immediately recognize him upon his arrival.
A doctor was ordered in to treat Tymoshenko, Vlasenko added, but did not immediately clarify her condition.
Tymoshenko, once the main political opponent of President Viktor Yanukovych, was sentenced in October 2011 to seven years in prison for abuse of office after negotiating an allegedly unfavorable gas deal between Russia and Ukraine in January 2009.
She has maintained that her imprisonment is politically motivated, as part of what critics claim is the Yanukovych administration’s broader crackdown on dissent and political pluralism.
While in prison in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Tymoshenko regularly complained of her deteriorating health, largely due to what she alleges to be physical abuse at the hands of prison authorities.
She was moved to a hospital last year after allegedly experiencing serious back pains.
The former prime minister announced a "civil disobedience" action last week, in which has spent nights in the bathroom of her hospital room to protest her incarceration.
A small contigent of pro-Tymoshenko Ukrainian parliament deputies also reported finding Tymoshenko in very poor health when they arrived at her hospital earlier this week, according to Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.
The former prime minister is also facing criminal charges of large-scale financial fraud, stemming from her tenure during the 1990s as head of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine natural gas intermediary. She has denied any wrongdoing.
A Kharkiv court continued its examination of that case on Friday in her absence. She has refused to attend the court hearings, citing her poor health.
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