KIEV, Ukraine - Jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been transferred, possibly against her will, from prison to a local hospital with severe back pain, her lawyer said Saturday.
Tymoshenko, 51, the country's top opposition politician, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abuse of office, which the West has condemned as politically motivated. She also faces other investigations.
Tymoshenko was taken to a hospital late Friday in the eastern city of Kharkiv, where she is imprisoned. But her attorney, Serhiy Vlasenko, said Saturday that he believes Tymoshenko was moved to the clinic against her will. Tymoshenko's party said in a statement that the late-night transfer was done in the "best traditions of totalitarianism."
Vlasenko said that German doctors who have examined Tymoshenko and inspected the Kharkiv hospital have concluded that her treatment there will not be effective and thus she did not want to be transferred there.
The imprisonment of Tymoshenko and several top allies has strained Ukraine's ties with the West.
Tymoshenko alleges that her longtime foe, President Viktor Yanukovych, who narrowly beat her in the 2010 presidential race, is seeking to get rid of political rivals.