Political Motives behind Failure to treat Yury Lutsenko?


Last Thursday the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Lutsenko, who has been held in custody since December last year, was again taken ill in court. Judge Serhiy Vovk nonetheless refused to allow him to be examined in hospital and placed responsibility on the State Penitentiary Service.

The Pechersky District Court ordered the Penitentiary Service to pay attention to Yury Lutsenko’s state of health and provide him with the appropriate medical care. Judge Vovk issued a decision to this effect in response to statements from the defence and Yury Lutsenko himself. This points out that Lutsenko is not receiving sufficient treatment and orders the Administration to report to it in a month.

The former Minister said that since Monday he had not been given the medicine which he was taking for a month, and during the last week he had been living on painkillers. He stressed that he needs first and foremost treatment, not a new examination. However the Prosecutor Dmytro Loban considers that the question should be decided by the SIZO [detention centre] Administration.

The judge is responsible

Oleksandr Banchuk from the Centre for Political and Legal Reform stresses that the judge, by not allowing the defendant to receive professional medical assistance, is violating the European Convention on Human Rights. “It is the judge alone who bears responsibility for Lutsenko’s health. It is all a question of his will now.” Mr Banchuk says that at present in the court the right to life is being violated, and degrading punishment applied. He is convinced that the motive for refusing to provide medical assistance to the defendant is political , since neither the court nor the Penitentiary Service will dare transfer Yury Lutsenko to hospital. “They are all scared of losing their job.  They therefore point to one another and the defendant suffers”. He is convinced that Lutsenko will not be let out to a hospital, to doctors until all witnesses have given their testimony. 

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