Prosecutor General mellows latest charge against Yury Lutsenko
In the latest trial of former Minister of the Interior and opposition leader, Yury Lutsenko, the Prosecutor General's Office has changed
After asking for a break to consider “new evidence”, Dmytro Loban for the prosecution stated at the court hearing on Friday morning that the PGO has changed the charge from abuse of power (under Article 384 § 2 of the Criminal Code) to « negligence » (Article 387 § 1).
The milder indictment – which also avoids the articles of the Criminal Code that have been roundly condemned by the international community – would obviously carry a milder sentence. The Prosecutor asserts that this is because in the course of the trial it has been established that Lutsenko had no intention to violate Davydenko’s rights, however as Minister he should have known that the investigation had been closed.
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.
On 3 July the European Court of Human Rights announced its judgement in the case of Lutsenko v. Ukraine with respect to the initial detention. It unanimously found violations of Articles 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security); 5 § 2 (right to be informed of the reasons for one’s arrest); 5 § 3 (right to be brought promptly before a judge)-trial detention; 5 § 4 (right to challenge the lawfulness of one’s detention) with respect to the initial detention of former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko
Information about the court hearing on Friday from