U.S. Government Statement Regarding the Verdict in the Yuriy Lutsenko Trial

The United States is disappointed by the verdict in the trial of former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko. The politically motivated prosecution of opposition leaders, including Mr. Lutsenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, raises serious concerns about the Government of Ukraine’s commitment to democracy and rule of law. We note the decision of a Ukrainian appeals court earlier this week to release former Acting Defense Minister Valeriy Ivashchenko, who had also been detained on questionable grounds, and urge the Government of Ukraine to free Mr. Lutsenko and Mrs. Tymoshenko, whom we believe should have an unrestricted ability to participate fully in political life.

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