• Topics / Politics and human rights
• Topics / The right to a fair trial
Lutsenko case: new hearing, same infringements
The latest court hearing in the second trial of former Interior Minister and opposition leader Yury Lutsenko began with presiding judge Anna Medushevska reading out the interrogation protocol of Halyna Klymovych, 15th witness and former head of the Prosecutor General’s Office investigative team working on the poisoning of Yushchenko. Yury Lutsenko immediately objected stating that the judge was breaching the Criminal Procedure Code by reading out Ms Klymovych’s testimony given in the pre-trial investigation into another criminal case. He added that he considers this to be a deliberate move on the judge’s part reflecting not incompetence, but her bias in the case.
Judge Medushevska ignored the objection and continued reading.
As reported, Yury Lutsenko and his defence lawyers have repeatedly objected to the judge both in this trial, and Judge Vovk in the trial on the first two charges simply reading out witness protocols. Despite a number of witnesses complaining of their words having been twisted, or of pressure being put on them, or simply giving different testimony in court, Vovk consistently ignored all protests. Medushevska appeared to have made some concession last week and announced that she was ordering the Prosecutor General’s Office to have four witnesses brought in for the next hearing on 7 July.
One of these witnesses – Halyna Klymovych, a former Prosecutor General’s Office investigator – was questioned in court on 24 January this year and then gave testimony in Yury Lutsenko’s favour.
In this instance, the issue is also that the protocol is not from the criminal case under examination. The Judge then went on to read the protocol from 24 January which was on the present case.
Klymovych apparently stated that the case had never been under Lutsenko’s control. She said that she had therefore been surprised to hear about the criminal case initiated.
This was the last witness. The report on the Narodna samooborona site asserts that all 15 witnesses have spoken in Lutsenko’s favour.
The Judge did not consider the defence’s request to call witnesses for the defence. Instead it went on to begin examining the evidence.
Yury Lutsenko made an official statement accusing the Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin, the investigators, judges and representatives of the State prosecution of a crime against him in connection with his unlawful detention in December 2010 and the fact that he had been in custody since then. Anna Medushevska was one of the three judges, together with presiding judge Serhiy Vovk and Oksana Tsarevych.
He said that the European Court of Human Rights had already assessed the independence or otherwise of their actions. His address is to the Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka whom he asks to pass it to the addressee “since its rejection will indicate the continuation of a course of repression in the State”.
The next hearing is scheduled for Friday, 13 July.
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.
Lutsenko is accused of having organized the 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.
New information from the Narodna Samooborona party website