Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- A team of German doctors will complete a preliminary report on the health of Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in the coming days amid speculation that her condition is deteriorating.
Tymoshenko is “seriously ill,” Der Spiegel reported, citing a report by doctors from Berlin’s Charité hospital who examined the former prime minister last week. Charité confirmed the visit in a statement, though declined to say what the assessment of Tymoshenko’s health is.
Ukrainian authorities moved 51-year-old Tymoshenko to a penal colony in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine on Dec. 30, a week after a court upheld her seven-year prison term for signing a gas contract with Russia in 2009. A verdict last year that found Tymoshenko had abused her authority by signing the agreement when she was premier drew condemnation from the European Union, the U.S. as well as Russia.
The Ukrainian politician’s daughter, Eugenia Tymoshenko, said in a statement that the German doctors determined that Tymoshenko has a herniated disc. The opposition leader is confined to bed and can’t sleep because of back pain, the daughter said on her mother’s website.
If “things continue the way they are and she is not given medical care, she will need an operation,” Eugenia Tymoshenko said. “This operation can’t be done in the prison.”
The team of doctors from Berlin, including neurologist Karl Max Einhaeupl and physician Norbert Haas, will complete a preliminary report in the next few days after coordinating with an independent visit by Canadian doctors on Dec. 15, the Charité clinic said in an e-mailed statement.
The German doctors were given “unhindered” access to Tymoshenko and performed their examination for “several hours” in the presence of a prison doctor on Feb. 14, Charité said in the statement. They rejected unspecified “speculation” about Tymoshenko’s health in the Ukrainian media based on their assessment.
Tymoshenko has denied the accusations against her and said President Viktor Yanukovych orchestrated the trial to sideline competitors in parliamentary elections this year.
--With assistance from Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev and Kateryna Choursina in Kiev. Editors: Andrew Atkinson, Andrew Langley
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