• Topics / Politics and human rights
• Topics / The right to a fair trial
Lutsenko trial: Witness sees nothing wrong in celebrating Police Day
The latest witness in the trial of Yury Lutsenko, former Minister of Internal Affairs and leader of the People’s Self-Defence Party, has said that there was no difference in preparing and holding the festivities to mark Police Day in 2008 and 2009 from previous years. One of the three charges against Mr Lutsenko is over his spending money from the budget not as designated for the Police Day celebrations.
The Deputy Head of the MIA Administrative and Economic Department, Valery Pavlenko did go on to say that the only difference had been the lack of a buffet, fireworks and billboards greeting the police with their special day. He also said that the procurement agreement for flowers for the Ukraina Palace had not been separate from the plan for the ceremony in which the leaders of the State were to take part, but within the context of a year-long contract with a legal entity.
Mr Pavlenko also noted that the plan was given to the Minister for him to approve, as always, after it was drawn up and passed by the relevant services and departments of the MIA. He said that Mr Lutsenko had not had anything to do with drawing up the plan and paying for the Ukraina Palace since all of that was decided at the level of heads of departments and by the appropriate deputy ministers.
He said, in response to questions from Mr Lutsenko’s lawyers, that the usual venue used had been under renovation during the period in question, hence the use of the Ukraina Palace.
He also stated that he had never received any unlawful instructions from Yury Lutsenko or anybody else while Mr Lutsenko was Minister of Internal Affairs.
Mr Lutsenko was detained on 26 December 2010 by a Security Service Alpha unit while walking his dog on a Sunday afternoon.
There are serious grounds for concern over the charges and the fact that Yury Lutsenko has now been held in detention for almost a year. There have also 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