A combination of poisons could have sparked the ailment that struck
Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko during the campaign, but
there’s no conclusive evidence that he was poisoned, the director of
the hospital that treated him said Wednesday.
Yushchenko, whose formerly smooth skin has turned pockmarked
since he fell ill, has alleged that Ukrainian authorities poisoned him
– a charge they deny.
Doctors are still running tests to try to determine what caused the
illness, said Dr. Michael Zimpfer, the Rudolfinerhaus director.
"We are meticulously investigating that, and we are running
entirely new tests in different labs, but there is no evidence so
far,” he said.
Doctors had only "a descriptive diagnosis” but no proof of what
caused the illness, Zimpfer said, adding it could have had natural
causes or have been sparked by a poison.
"It might also have been a combination of poisons. Everything is in the air,” he said.
Zimpfer rejected as "entirely untrue” a story in Wednesday’s
edition of the London daily The Times, which quoted Dr. Nikolai Korpan
– the Rudolfinerhaus physician who oversaw Yushchenko’s treatment – as
saying the Ukrainian candidate had been poisoned and the intention was
to kill him.
Hours after the newspaper report was published, Korpan denied making the remarks.
The original story could have been a fabrication. Or maybe Korpan is having second thoughts about the wisdom of proclaiming a poisoning diagnosis. I wonder if we’ll find out.
(TY to Mark Steckbeck)