Officials in the Ukrainian prison, where former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is serving her seven-year sentence, denied that she would have to share a cell with a woman convicted of murder, Ukrainian news agency UNIAN quoted a spokesman of the Ukrainian regional Kharkiv penitentiary service, Yuri Chumak as saying.
“The prison’s officials deny the information spread by Vlasenko [Tymoshenko’s lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko] that Yulia Vladimirovna [Tymoshenko] will share a cell with a woman convicted of murder,” Chumak said.
Vlasenko said on Monday that a third bed was put into Tymoshenko’s cell and that the prison authorities had told her “the bed would probably be occupied by a very intelligent, smart and tolerant woman who was serving a jail term for premeditated murder.”
In October 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of office, for exceeding her authority in signing a 2009 gas deal with Russia. Her trial was condemned by both the European Union and Russia as politically motivated. She is currently serving her sentence in a women’s prison near Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv.
The ex-premier’s other cellmate was convicted of bank fraud.
Supporters of the jailed politician claim Tymoshenko’s health has deteriorated since her pre-trial detention began in August 2011 and that she is no longer able to walk due to back problems.