war crimes in Ukraine

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Yet another witness confirms Lutsenko’s predecessors could also be prosecuted

01.11.2011    source:

Former Head of the Operational Service Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rostyslav Chernyavsky has testified that drivers attached to Minister of the MIA should be employed within his department. He was testifying in the trial of former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Lutsenko who is charged, among other things, with abuse of authority over the employment of his driver within the MIA. 

Mr Chernyavsky was the latest in at least 10 witnesses who have stated that there was nothing unlawful in the employment of the driver, Leonid Prystuplyuk, and that all drivers of previous Ministers were also employed within the Ministry.

He also expressed the view that Prystuplyuk had legitimately received awards for Constitution Day and the 17th anniversary of Ukraine’s police force.

Yury Lutsenko pointed to discrepancies between the protocol of his interrogation by the investigators and his testimony in court. Turning to the witness, Lutsenko asked whether he really was afraid of him, saying that this alleged fear by Cheryavsky of Lutsenko was what the prosecution was basing the charges on. Chernyavsky answered that no, he was not afraid of Lutsenko.

As reported there have 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.

The alleged offences for which Lutsenko has been held in custody since December last year is explained in the Legal Monitoring of the Danish Helsinki Committee on Human Rights, from which the following is taken:

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 inagreement 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.

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