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All cases against former minister Lutsenko merged

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Jan. 27, 2011, 2:10 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
Three criminal cases earlier opened against former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko have been merged into one, Lutsenko's lawyer Ihor Fomin told Interfax on Thursday. "All of the three cases have been merged into one. A pre-trial investigation has already been completed," he said.

Lutsenko and his driver Leonid Prystupliuk were charged with the misappropriation of 360,000 hryvni in state property and fraud on December 13.

Lutsenko was also charged with abuse of office.

The former interior minister, who is currently being held in a detention facility, was detained near his home on December 26 2010. On December 27 a court ordered his arrest on the grounds that he had been dodging questioning in violation of his written pledge not to leave Kyiv.

Fomin said earlier that Lutsenko's charges of involvement in the poisoning of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko and on the embezzlement of budget funds had been merged into one case.

The former minister is also suspected of misusing the budget of the Police Day ceremony at the Ukraine Palace, the lawyer said.
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