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Defense lawyer: Appeal against Lutsenko's conviction almost ready

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Aug. 17, 2012, 12:08 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

The defense team of former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko thinks that the ruling of Kyiv's Pechersky District Court in the criminal case on negligence during operational and search activities for Valentyn Davydenko, a driver of the Ukrainian Security Council's ex-deputy head Volodymyr Satsiuk, is illegal and will appeal against it.
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The defense team of former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko thinks that the ruling of Kyiv's Pechersky District Court in the criminal case on negligence during operational and search activities for Valentyn Davydenko, a driver of the Ukrainian Security Council's ex-deputy head Volodymyr Satsiuk, is illegal and will appeal against it.

"The conviction of Lutsenko is illegal," the ex-minister's lawyer, Oleksiy Bahanets, told journalists on Friday.

He stressed that the court ruling has nothing to do with the materials of the criminal case and the law.

Bahanets also said that the defense team has 15 days to file an appeal.

"It [the appeal] is almost ready," the lawyer said.

According to the lawyer's calculations, taking into account the time Lutsenko has spent in a pre-trial detention and in case the ex-minister's appeal against a four-year sentence in another criminal case is rejected, he will be released on December 26, 2014.

As reported, Lutsenko was charged with the extension of an investigative case concerning Davydenko, the driver of former SBU First Deputy Chief Volodymyr Satsiuk, as part of an investigation into the poisoning of then presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko.

On August 3, the Prosecutor General's Office had changed the charges against Lutsenko from the abuse of power or office (part 2 of Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) to that of negligence (Part 1 of Article 367). According to the prosecutors, during the trial they established that Lutsenko had not intended to violate the rights of Davydenko when signing an order to extend the investigation. The prosecutor's office believed that Lutsenko didn't know that his deputy, Petro Koliada, had closed the proceedings, but as a minister, he had an obligation to check this, and by not doing so neglected his duties.

Thus, the prosecution qualified the severity of the charge because Article 367 of the Criminal Code envisages a maximum penalty of imprisonment up to three years, while Article 364 of the Criminal Code provides for a tougher punishment.

Lutsenko was arrested on December 26, 2010. He has been held at Kyiv’s pre-trial detention center since then.

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