• Topics / Politics and human rights
• Topics / The right to a fair trial
Judge Vovk simply reads out testimony given earlier in Lutsenko trial
On 24 January Judge Vovka began reading out the testimony of more than 30 witnesses in the prosecution of former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Lutsenko. He read out the list of names saying that those people had written statements saying that they could not appear in court and asking for testimony given at pre-trial investigation stage to be read out. Among them are former Deputy Prosecutor General Mykola Holomsha who also figures in an episode in the case over Viktor Yushchenko’s poisoning.
Vovk stated that there would be no discussion of the issue, since the court could decide on its own initiative.
Yury Lutsenko on the other hand insisted that all witnesses should be questioned in court.
“Holomsha is working. He’s in Kyiv but can’t come. The list holds 20 current police employees. Why have others come, but these can’t? Why do you think that Holomsha is different? He hasn’t gone to Spain, he’s not in hospital, but he doesn’t want to come to court”.
“The spirit of the law is not prevailing here, but the spirit ordering a sentence for Lutsenko. There is a wish to convict, to publish a ruling given to them”, he added.
Yury Lutsenko also asserted that the head of the Ukraina Palace had a visit from Prosecutor’s Office staff who ordered that they confirm their pre-trial investigation testimony, and also supplemented this by claiming that Lutsenko had definitely know that the price for the Police Day concert would exceed the price of the ceremony part. Lutsenko says that when the head refused, a statement appeared claiming that she couldn’t appear in court.
On Tuesday morning, other witnesses were questioned, and joined the large number who have given either neutral testimony in court or evidence in Lutsenko’s favour.
ЛІГАБізнесІнформ reports that MIA official Anatoly Klyutskovsky who took part at a meeting of the MIA Central Housing Commisison said that he did not remember a meeting where the issue of Lutsenko’s driver’s flat was discussed. Another witness, Gennady Hrebnyov, at the time Deputy Head of the Public Liaison Department, reiterated what others have said, that employment of the driver Leonid Prystuplyuk in the particular department existed long before Lutsenko became Minister.
One of the alleged offences for which Lutsenko has been held in custody for 9 months is explained in the Legal Monitoring of the Danish Helsinki Committee on Human Rights. 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 in agreement 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.