Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been jailed in her home country, agreed to a medical checkup to be held jointly by local doctors and foreign specialists, the Ukrainian prison authority said on Tuesday.
Tymoshenko (51) was sentenced to seven years in prison last year over abuse of authority in the signing of a 2009 gas deal with Russia and has been complaining of back problems for months. Her lawyers insist she is currently incapable of walking.
“Tymoshenko has agreed to a medical examination to be carried out by Professor [Vasily] Netyazhko and foreign doctors,” the Ukrainian Penitentiary Service said in a statement.
Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesman for the penitentiary service said Tymoshenko refused the checkup, demanding that Ukrainian specialists be banned from participating. According to the spokesman, Ukrainian legislation prohibits an unsupervised check.
Tymoshenko had also agreed that a prison doctor would supervise her examination, the statement said.
A team of eleven doctors, five Ukrainians and six specialists from Canada and Germany, arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov, where Tymoshenko has been serving her prison term, earlier on Tuesday.
Tymoshenko, a driving force behind Ukraine’s 2004 "Orange revolution," insists her case was fabricated by her political nemesis, President Viktor Yanukovych, who she says wants to prevent her from running in the presidential race in 2015. Yanukovych denies the allegations.