Farce over Lutsenko’s prosecution unfolds under European eyes


As Ukraine’s leaders try to assure the Council of Europe that all is well, impartial and no whiff of selective prosecutions of the opposition, the real nature of Yury Lutsenko’s remand in custody has yet again been made patently obvious. .

Early on Friday, 27 May, Iryna Lutsenko, together with family, friends and political colleagues went to the Kyiv SIZO [remand unit] where her husband, former Minister of Internal Affairs in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government and leader of the People’s Self Defence Party, has been held since December 2010. The grounds for his actual prosecution have aroused voices of concern within Ukraine and abroad, and prompted the Danish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights to issue a full and damning report.  If it was difficult to find any legal justification for Lutsenko having been remanded in custody even back in December, by now only motives which have no place in a law-based society can be suggested.

Iryna Lutsenko appeared before journalists without her husband and stated:

“The situation is as follows: the SIZO management do not have the court ruling from 23 May. The only document which they have for holding my husband in custody is the ruling of the Court of Appeal and the report from the Prosecutor’s Office that on 17 May the Lutsenko case was passed to the court”,

She added that the SIZO management would in the near future be providing an official response for the grounds on which they were holding Yury Lutsenko in custody. She said that they had insisted on receiving confirmation that after the ruling of 23 May (which only left in force the original ruling which was until 27 May) they had received some kind of document enabling his continued remand in custody.

The National Deputies present asked that Yury Lutsenko be released under their guarantee, but were told that the former Minister was already in the Pechersky District Court.

 New information reported by  (Commentary – HC)

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