More witnesses testify in Lutsenko’s favour
The Pechersky District Court in Kyiv questioned two more witnesses in the trial of former Minister of Internal Affairs and leader of the People’s Self-Defence Party, Yury Lutsenko on Tuesday.
Viktor Doroshenko had apparently stated during the pre-trial investigation that the order to take Lutsenko’s driver, Leonid Prystuplyuk on within the Ministry of Internal Affairs had been unlawful. In court on Tuesday he said that he had never seen the order, but considers that Mr Lutsenko had the right to issue it.
Lutsenko’s party site reports that after being questioned by the defence, Mr Doroshenko stated that his main testimony should be considered that given now, in court.
After a break the court questioned the 52nd witness, Lidia Porechkina, who was a Deputy Minister dealing with financial issues from July 2005 to December 2006. During this time Mr Prystuplyuk had been issued with housing. She explained that all flats allocated to employees of the MIA belong to the Kyiv Mayor’s Office. A work flat, she said, could be allocated by a Minister since it is not actually given to the person to own. She stressed also that the issue of whether a flat is given to keep is considered by the Central Housing Commission. She said that in Prystuplyuk’s case the flat had been only allocated in his official capacity. She denied that she had been placed under any pressure and said that she had not met with anyone from the defence.
As well as serious grounds for concern over the charges and the fact that Yury Lutsenko has now been held in detention for a year, there have also been a number of occasions where witnesses have denied saying what the protocols allege they said. The presiding judge Serhiy Vovk has rejected applications to have the relevant investigators summoned for questioning over the discrepancies.
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.