More witnesses in Lutsenko trial testify in his favour


The court hearing on Monday over the charges against former Minister of Internal Affairs in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, Yury Lutsenko once again heard a witness whose evidence was at variance from that on Prosecutor’s Office protocols.

One of the charges against the former Minister is of having unlawfully employed his driver within the MIA. Monday’s witness was the sixth out of 148 to be questioned in court. The former Head of the Staffing Department, Mykola Kurko stated that according to the law there had been no infringements in the employment of Leonid Prystuplyuk.

He also said that he personally had received no instruction from Yury Lutsenko to employ Mr Prystuplyuk.

He denied having used the term “staffing purge” which is recorded in the protocol of his interrogation.

On 29 September, another witness Valery Maretsky stated that his testimony during interrogation at the Prosecutor General’s Office had been written down incorrectly.  He said that he had been interrogated several times, and each could last around 4 hours which was psychologically very difficult. He denied that he had said there had been an instruction from Lutsenko.  He knew only that the management said to employ Prystuplyuk.   He also denied having said that there was a staffing purge after Lutsenko became Minister, which the Prosecutor’s protocol asserts.

From reports at and

These witnesses followed others who have stated that the employment of the driver was normal, that he needed the status that employment in the particular department gave since he needed to have the same access to closed institutions that Lutsenko had.

One of the alleged offences for which  Lutsenko has been held in custody for 9 months is explained in the Legal Monitoring of the Danish Helsinki Committee on Human Rights. The driver in question is, of course, Leonid Prystuplyuk.

Articles 185.4, 191.5 and 365.3, excess of authority with grave consequences for in the period from 2005 to 2010 with the intention to inflict extra costs and losses to the State and in agreement with his driver to have facilitated the driver’s promotion to a series of police functions, respectively Operational Attorney, Police Captain and later Police Major and Minister Counselor, without the driver meeting the employment conditions or fulfilling these functions,
and later to have prompted him awarded early enhanced pension, extension of pension seniority and assigned an official apartment which was reserved for other staff groups, by which he inflicted the state a total loss of approx. UAH 600, 000.

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