Lutsenko trial: One witness after another testifies in former Minister’s favour


On Tuesday the court hearing in the trial of former Internal Affairs Minister Yury Lutsenko worked through the day, with only one half-hour break. Presiding Judge Serhiy Vovk cancelled examination of another case scheduled for 14.00, adding substance to the suggestions that now that Tymoshenko’s trial is over, there is pressure to finish Lutsenko’s as soon as possible.

The witnesses included Ludmila Kulyk who in 2005 was responsible for checking that the act instructing allocation of a flat to Lutsenko’s driver was in accordance with all laws etc.  She said that that particular instruction had in no way stood out amongst others. She knew Lutsenko only from television, she stated.

Another witness, Oleksandr Lykholat had signed the payment order for the Ukraina Palace’s services (in connection with the Police Day events).  He said that each structural division had checked the legality of the documents. He personally had no objections regarding the document.

Other witnesses, according to the People’s Self-Defence Party site [Lutsenko’s party), also said that the former Minister had not given them illegal instructions. Former State Treasury employee, Yury Chumachenko denied that there had been anything unlawful in the Police Day events in 2008 and 2009 at the Ukraina Palace.  Former Deputy Minister Oleksandr Embulatov who signed the documents renting a hall in the Ukraina Palace said that the documents had been checked for compliance with the law and there had been nothing wrong with them.

Mykola Lehenky, former head of the human resources department said that the Police Day events had been held in accordance with a Presidential decree.

The seventh witness also had no grievance against Lutsenko although it was he who could have become the owner of the flat allocated to Prystuplyuk.  He had been on the housing list as a former Chornobyl clean-up worker. During the questioning Volodymyr Babanyuk said that he had been summoned to the Minister’s secretariat and informed that somebody had received the flat instead of him. Asked if he had complained to Minister Lutsenko that he didn’t receive a flat, he said that he “did not have any complaints against Lutsenko”.

He also said that he has still not received a flat in the MIA although he is on the list as a person who should not have to wait in the queue. 

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