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30.11.2012

Dissenting voice in Lutsenko appeal ruling not heard

   

  On Thursday the Kyiv Court of Appeal read out only the motivation for its rejection of the appeal by former Interior Minister and opposition leader Yury Lutsenko against his sentence in his second trial. It was stated on 22 November after the appeal hearing that one member of the panel of judges had issued a separate opinion.  It is of the greatest interest to know who this was since the case against Yury Lutsenko was heard with serious procedural infringements and it had been learned on the eve of the appeal hearing that the European Court of Human Rights judgement in the case of Lutsenko vs. Ukraine had entered into force, with the High Chamber having effectively rejected the Ukrainian Government’s appeal.

In court on Tuesday, Yury Lutsenko complained that during the last 20 days he had not been receiving the medical treatment the medical commission had prescribed.  The latter examined him on 8 November.  It said that there was no need for Mr Lutsenko to be hospitalized.  The former Minister’s wife, Iryna Lutsenko says that the doctors also found that her husband was suffering from heart disease.

In a formal statement of protest addressed to the Head of the Mensk Prison Colony Administration, Yury Lutsenko said that somebody is trying to turn him into an invalid.

On 17 August presiding judge Hanna Medushevskva sentenced Yury Lutsenko to 2 years restriction of liberty, which is swallowed up by the longer 4 year sentence which he received in February. 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 had been reduced from abuse of power (under Article 384 § 2 of the Criminal Code).

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

Then in mid July, and then just a week before the verdict, 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. 

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