Lutsenko trial: Yet another witness dissociates himself from testimony to the Prosecutor


In the trial of ex-Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Lutsenko, the cross examination continued on Friday of former Head of the Operational Service Department of the MIA, Serhiy Momot.

Mr Momot stated that when Leonid Prystuplyuk was again being taken on for work in his department, all was legitimate and he sees no infringements.

Asked whether Lutsenko had given any instruction for his driver, Prystuplyuk to be employed, Momot answered that he had not. He said that he was brought a ready report, and that he personally had had no contact with Yury Lutsenko in his work. 

He denied having said that there had been a “purge of staff” at the Ministry. He had said only that there was a change of heads of departments and heads of regional divisions.  “With each new Minister there are changes in management. That’s become a tradition”.

Yury Lutsenko read the witness an extract from the indictment which quotes the said witness as saying: “It was in any case clear that the instruction to urgently employed Prystuplyuk had come from Lutsenko”. The former Minister asked Momot if he had information that the instruction had come specifically from Lutsenko.  He said that he had received no such instructions. “I did not say that. I wasn’t acquainted with you. Nobody passed me any instructions”.

A later report stated that the court had again rejected an application to release Yury Lutsenko who has been held in detention since December last year.  The trial was adjourned until Monday.

Among those present in the courtroom were representatives of the US Embassy in Kyiv.

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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