Ukraine's Tymoshenko sent back to prison
KHARKIV - Ukraine
AFP PhotoUkraine's opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was sent back to prison today after refusing treatment at a clinic she was brought to for back pain that kept her from attending her new trial.
A top health official said the former prime minister would not let Ukrainian doctors touch her after unexpectedly being brought to a local hospital on Friday night.
"Unfortunately, despite our firm recommendation, Yulia Volodymyrivna (Tymoshenko) categorically refused to undergo treatment," Deputy Health Minister Raisa Moiseyenko told reporters.
"This is not a hotel. People have to undergo treatment at hospital." The fiery 2004 Orange Revolution leader's supporters had earlier claimed that Tymoshenko had been moved to the clinic under duress.
Tymoshenko had previously refused treatment in a Ukrainian hospital until it had been cleared by a team of visiting German specialists who examined her earlier this year.
A German doctor this week formally approved a clinic in the eastern city of Kharkiv where Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of power as premier in a case that has damaged Ukraine's relations with the West.
But the chief German doctor also noted Tymoshenko's "deep mistrust" of Ukrainian doctors as a complicating factor.
Members of the Western medical team said Tymoshenko had expressed fear that she may be poisoned or inflicted with a disease by local doctors after one of her former colleagues developed hepatitis while in jail.
Tymoshenko went on trial again last week on new tax evasion and graft charges that may extend her sentence by five years. The 51-year-old sent a formal letter to the authorities saying she was in too much pain to attend.