Tymoshenko daughter: Merkel promised not to forget us

06.03.12 @ 09:24

  1. By Andrew Rettman
  2. Andrew email

BRUSSELS - Eugenia Carr, the daughter of former Ukrainian leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, suspects that her mother is being poisoned and said Germany's Angela Merkel has promised to help.

  • Carr in Brussels last week: '[Merkel] is not going to forget her' (Photo: EUobserver)

She told EUobserver in an interview in Brussels on Friday (2 March) that her mother started having suspicious symptoms - dizziness, bruises and neurological pain in her spine - one week after she was detained last August and that they are getting worse.

She is now unable to walk the 500 metres to the visitors' area in the Kachanivska penal colony where she is being held.

Carr added that judges have not allowed an independent toxicology report despite over 100 requests, even though it would give credibility to her enemies if it came up empty.

"Most probably my mother was poisoned, or this [poisoning] keeps going on on a daily basis ... They are trying to destroy her as a politician, to destroy her health and probably to kill her slowly without anybody knowing," she said.

Tymoshenko was jailed on charges of abuse of office in autumn, shortly after her political and business rivals, President Viktor Yanukovych and oligarch Dmytri Firtash, regained ascendancy. More used to Luis Vuitton suits and international summits, she now faces seven years in almost total isolation in the dismal prison in east Ukraine.

Carr met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a congress of the centre-right EPP political group in Brussels last Thursday.

"Chancellor Merkel, whom I met personally yesterday, promised not to leave her in trouble ... She asked me to give her warmest regards to my mother and to say she is not going to forget her, that she is going to continue to fight for her and to do all she can to stop what is going on in Ukraine," she told this website.

Her main hope is that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will overrule her mother's detention later this year. But it remains to be seen if this would lead to her full rehabilitation in time to register for parliamentary elections in October.

Apart from the abuse of office charges, Ukrainian authorities accuse Tymoshenko of embezzling state money and ordering a contract killing when she was in the gas business in the 1990s.

Asked by this website if Tymoshenko is a billionaire, Carr answered: "No. Of course not." She said the size of the family fortune is "a private question," but added that her mother rents a "small" appartment in Kiev and has no assets abroad.

For his part, Kenneth Murphy, a US lobbyist who accompanied Carr to Brussels and who describes himself as "an old friend of the family," noted that Yanukovych spent "millions" on US law firms Trout Cacheris and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, as well as investigative company Kroll, to dig up dirt on Tymoshenko, but came up with nothing.

"They hired these Watergate guys who couldn't find anything, which is why they used these stupid charges [abuse of office] because they couldn't find the corruption they wanted," he told this website.

US lawyer Plato Cacheris defended some of the top names in the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

For his part, Tymoshenko's lawyer, Serhyi Vlasenko, is currently trying to serve subpeoanas on Yanukovych, Firtash and a Russian individual, Semion Mogilevich, to answer charges in a money laundering case in a New York federal court.

He told EUobserver by phone from Kiev that Yanukovych and Firtash bodyguards have so far kept him at bay. But he has tracked down Mogilevich, who is "living somewhere in a suburb near Moscow" and aims to serve the papers shortly.

"We want the court to show the world that these guys are the organsied crime in Ukraine. That they stole money from the state budget and invested it worldwide, including in the US ... The main mistake of EU and US politicians is that they treat Yanukovych as if he was also European politician. He is not a European politician. He has the mentality of an African dictator," Vlasenko said.

When asked who is financing the private lawsuit in New York, he said the information is "confidential."