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17.08.2012

Lutsenko sentenced to another 2 years restriction of liberty

   

Despite the persistent absence of an aggrieved party and confirmation by all witnesses that they considered the surveillance in dispute to be lawful, despite all calls from the democratic community, presiding judge Hanna Medushevskva has convicted former Interior Minister and opposition leader Yury Lutsenko.

She sentenced him to 2 years restriction of liberty, which is swallowed up by the longer 4 year sentence which he received in February. The other two accused were fined 3.5 thousand UAH each and banned from holding orgnaizational posts for three years.

There were cries of Shame!” from outside the court.

Lutsenko was charged with “negligence” over the allegedly unlawful surveillance on Valentin Davydenko, driver of the former Deputy Head of the SBU [Security Service] Volodymyr Satsyuk. Yushchenko had been taken ill in 2004 after dining with SBU people at the dacha of the SBU Deputy Head.

The charge was reduced about two months ago from abuse of power (under Article 384 § 2 of the Criminal Code).  The milder indictment avoided the articles of the Criminal Code that have been roundly condemned by the international community and carried a  milder sentence.  The Prosecutor asserted that this was because in the course of the trial it has been established that Lutsenko had no intention to violate Davydenko’s rights, however as Minister he should have known that the investigation had been closed.

Effectively all the witnesses called by the prosecution stated that they believed the surveillance of Davydenko to be lawful.

Then in mid July, and later just a week ago, Judge Medushevska read out telegrams from Valentin Davydenko who stated that he did not consider himself to be a victim in this case and asked the court to not disturb him any more.

Yury Lutsenko was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment in February over the first two charges brought against him.  The third charge was unexpectedly separated into a different trial late last year.  His conviction and the new trial have been widely condemned as politically motivated.

On 3 July the European Court of Human Rights announced its judgement in the case of Lutsenko v. Ukraine with respect to the initial detention. It unanimously found violations of Articles 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security); 5 § 2 (right to be informed of the reasons for one’s arrest); 5 § 3 (right to be brought promptly before a judge)-trial detention; 5 § 4 (right to challenge the lawfulness of one’s detention) with respect to the initial detention of former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko. 

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