Another memorable court hearing in the Lutsenko trial
Hearings resumed on 11 January in the trial of former Minister of Internal Affairs and leader of the People’s Self-Defence Party, Yury Lutsenko.
During the hearing it transpired that one of the witnesses, the former Head of Oleksy Pukach, the police general charged over the killing of Georgy Gongadze, had unlawfully kept secret information in his home.
During the questioning of Oleksy Kostenko, Yury Lutsenko himself began asking question. He noted that Kostenko gave detailed testimony regarding Mr Lutsenko’s driver Leonid Prystuplyuk, but could not remember more than one name of his own subordinates. Lutsenko and the defence believe that this demonstrates that the witnesses received “consultation” before the questioning.
When asked by Lutsenko how he could so clearly remember the circumstances around the employment of Prystuplyuk, Oleksy Kostenko answered that he had a notebook in which he noted down many facts linked with his work.
“Are you aware that the names of staff of the operational service department is secret information?”, Lutsenko asked.
The witness said that yes, he was aware of that.
“Why do you keep information about member of the department, Leonid Prystuplyuk which is an official secret at home in a notebook?”, he was asked.
“I have such handwriting, it’s all so well coded that nobody will understand”. These words from the witness elicited loud laughter from the people present in the courtroom. Presiding Judge Serhiy Vovk issued a reprimand then decided to expel all present for the rest of the day’s hearing. A technical break was called.
After five minutes the hearing resumed with only the parties present, with the court Griffon Special Unit officers keeping journalists and others out.