“Maidan” Alliance: the police must remain with the people
The “Maidan” Alliance is deeply concerned by the events on 24 May around the dismissal of the Prosecutor General Sviatoslav Piskun.
Only a few days ago we drew public attention to attempts by politicians to drag the enforcement agencies into their grubby political games and pointed to the balanced position being taken by the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Security Service (SBU) and the Army.
We are today forced to turn to the Minister of Internal Affairs Mr Tsushko and call on him emphatically to not succumb to political provocation and to not drag the police into political intrigue.
The actions of the police which were directly controlled by the Minister during the conflict in the Prosecutor Generals office almost led to a confrontation between armed members of different enforcement agencies – the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Department [Upravlinnya derzhavnoyi okhorony], the consequences of which do not bear thinking about.
The law enforcement agencies must examine these actions, however regardless of the results of their enquiry we would stress the inadmissibility of such provocative behaviour from the heads of enforcement bodies.
We would also express the deepest concern at the statements made today by the Minister Vasyl Tsushko and the opinions he expressed with regard to the Presidents Decree [dismissing PIskun].
There can be no doubt about the political nature of his statements.
We would remind him that nobody has the right to refuse to comply with Presidential Decrees unless they have been declared null and void through the proper court procedure. Mr Tsushkos statement recognizing Sviatoslav Piskun as Prosecutor General must therefore be interpreted as a failure to maintain neutrality in a political crisis and as indicating that the Minister has adopted and is being guided by his own political position. This is entirely unacceptable.
We call on Mr Tsushko to remain outside politics as he had done so up till now. And as up till now the management of SBU and the Armed Forces have succeeded in doing.
The police must remain with the people, and not with a band of politicians, regardless of their party affiliation or political shade!
On 24 May the President signed a Decree dismissing Sviatoslav Piskun from his post as Prosecutor General.
Shortly after 13.00. Mr Piskun, accompanied by guards and Deputies from the Party of the Regions arrived at the Prosecutor Generals Office.
At 13.57, the Minister of Internal Affairs Vasyl Tsushko arrived, accompanied by a special unit of “Berkut”.
The latter came into conflict with guards from the State Security Department while pushing their way into the office of the Prosecutor General.
According to “Ukrainska Pravda”, Mr Tsushko declared that the “MIA will safeguard the normal work of Prosecutor General Piskun” and “We are fighting against a State coup”. He also threatened to arrest anybody who tried to stop them getting in.
By 14.00 the leader of the Verkhovna Rada faction of the Party of the Regions Raisa Bohatyryova had also arrived.
The Secretary of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine Ivan Plyushch sharply criticized the actions of the Minister of Internal Affairs, saying that he had exceeded his authority.