• Topics / Politics and human rights
• Topics / The right to a fair trial
Lutsenko’s appeal hearing begins
Former Interior Minister and opposition figure Yury Lutsenko has accused the Prosecutor of pulling his sentence out of thin air. Mr Lutsenko was speaking in support of his appeal against the ruling by the Pechersky District Court.
He asked the Kyiv Court of Appeal to note that during his trial not one of the witnesses had said that he personally gave instructions to employ his driver Leonid Prystuplyuk in an Interior Ministry department.
He said that it remained a mystery to him why the appointment of Prystuplyuk was treated as a crime, but not the similar appointments of the other two drivers.
Nor, Mr Lutsenko said had any of the witnesses stated that he had given instructions for his driver to be provided with accommodation or had taken part in the work of the relevant Ministry committee. The Ministry had not incurred any expense through providing Prystuplyuk with accommodation since it was municipal property and not on the Ministry’s balance books.
The flimsiest charge applied to the marking of Police Day. He said that even the most uneducated person knows that the President’s Decree must be implemented and annual Police Day festivities were set out in a Presidential Decree from 1993. During the two years in question (2008-2009), the Police Day occasions were not alone. 14 other ministries held such professional occasions.
Yury Lutsenko’s convictions which have been widely condemned as politically motivated are over:
The fact that his driver was formally employed within the Special Operations Department of the Interior Ministry - a number of witnesses stated clearly that this was then and is still now standard practice;
The fact that his driver received a flat for the period he was working there
Two events to mark Police Day in 2008 and 2009 - police officers have already gathered the money to pay the supposed cost to the state