Ukraine prosecutors charge ally of opposition leader Tymoshenko

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Dec. 13, 2010, 6:24 p.m. | Politics — by Reuters


Ukraine's state prosecutor's office said on Monday it has charged a former interior minister and ally of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko with abuse of office and forgery. Former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, who has dismissed the allegations as politically motivated, is one of several senior members of Tymoshenko's government facing criminal charges.

Tymoshenko, who has been accused herself of wrongdoing by the new government headed by her political opponent President Viktor Yanukovich, called it a campaign of "repressions".

But new state prosecutor Viktor Pshonka, a close ally of Yanukovich, has denied that the probe was politically motivated and said the charges were supported by documents.

"Today, on December 13, 2010, the final charges have been presented to Lutsenko," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Two other senior officials from the previous government, the former head of customs and the former acting chief executive of state energy firm Naftogaz, have been also detained this year. Last week state prosecutors questioned Tymoshenko, who served as prime minister in 2005 and again between 2007 and 2010. She said she and her allies were victims of a "witch-hunt".
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