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Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko to be released from prison for 'urgent' medical treatment

Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko will be released from jail in order to seek medical treatment for a chronic back problem, Ukrainian authorities said today.

Ukraine tymoshenko trial 07 29 2011Enlarge
Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko speaks during her trial in Kiev on July 15, 2011. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

BERLIN, Germany — Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, currently in jail for abuse of office, has been given permission to leave prison for medical treatment.

Doctors say she requires urgent attention for a suspected herniated disc, the Associated Press reported, and the European Court of Human Rights asked the Ukrainian government last month to ensure she received appropriate treatment outside prison.

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The German government sought to have her brought to Berlin for specialized care, but the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office announced today that Tymoshenko would be treated at a clinic near where she is detained, in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

Her lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, said he would appeal to allow German doctors to decide where Tymoshenko should be treated, the Kyiv Post reported.

According to the head of Berlin's Charité hospital, Karl Max Einäupl, who was allowed to examine Tymoshenko in February, her condition has worsened to the point where an operation is no longer possible. She needs a "multifacted therapy," German magazine the Spiegel quoted Einäupl as saying. 

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The European Union has said that Tymoshenko's case must be resolved before it will ratify an association agreement with Ukraine. Both EU and US officials have condemned the charges against her as politically motivated.

Ukrainian prosecutors deny that claim and are seeking to press additional charges against Tymoshenko. According to the Financial Times, charges of corporate tax evasion were filed last week, while prosecutors said they were also investigating whether Tymoshenko funded the contract killing of a parliamentarian in 1996.

Her lawyer dismissed the allegations as "propaganda."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120402/ukraine-yulia-tymoshenko-released-prison-medical-treatment