Ukraine's Lutsenko jailed for 4 years (updated)

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Feb. 27, 2012, 3:13 p.m. | Politics — by Reuters


A former Ukrainian interior minister and close ally of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to fours year in jail on Monday for embezzlement and abuse of office. Yuri Lutsenko, 47, a member of opposition party Narodna Samooborona (People's Self-defence), has denied the charges as politically motivated and in earlier comments to journalists made it clear that he expected to be jailed.

"Everybody understands that this is a political trial, not a judicial one," Lutsenko told reporters from a metal cage in the courtroom, as judge Serhiy Vovk read out the verdict.

The European Union and the United States have condemned this trial and the case targeting Tymoshenko as politically motivated proceedings and examples of selective justice.

Lutsenko's alleged offences include illegally granting an apartment to his lawyer and financial irregularities relating to celebrations marking National Police Day.

Tymoshenko, a former prime minister in whose government Lutsenko had served, was also convicted for abuse of office last October and sentenced to seven years in prison in a case that has damaged Ukraine's ties with the West.

Brussels has put off the signing of an association agreement and a free trade deal with Ukraine over the issue, urging Kyiv to free Tymoshenko and allow her to compete in a parliamentary election in October.

Lutsenko's sentencing, however, suggested Tymoshenko was unlikely to go free any time soon.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich himself said last week he could step in only once Tymoshenko goes through all the trial and appeal hearings and asks him to pardon her. But Tymoshenko will never seek a pardon, according to her lawyers.

The 51-year-old Tymoshenko, a charismatic politician and a fiery speaker, helped lead the 2004 Orange Revolution street protests that thwarted a first bid for the presidency by Yanukovich, and went on to serve two terms as prime minister.

But after Yanukovich made a comeback and beat her in an election for the presidency in February 2010, criminal proceedings were brought against her and other members of the opposition.

Tymoshenko was found guilty of illegally forcing through a 2009 gas deal with Russia which Yanukovich's government says has saddled Ukraine with an exorbitant price for vital fuel supplies.

A former acting defence minister who served under Tymoshenko, Valery Ivashchenko, has also been in detention since August 2010, on charges of illegally selling a ship-repair factory in Crimea.

Tymoshenko's husband, Olexander, and another ally, former Economy Minister Bohdan Danylyshin, have both fled to the Czech Republic where they have been granted asylum. Other Tymoshenko supporters inside Ukraine remain vocal.
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AL BALA Feb. 27, 2012, 3:41 p.m.    

Akhmetov has remained powerful politically and financially, and he received rewards for past support in the form of recent privatizations in which he gained control of several multi-billion-dollar power generators at a cumulative price of $400 million.

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AL BALA Feb. 27, 2012, 3:58 p.m.    

At the court to ex-Minister Yuriy Lutsenko , now announce the verdict came the leader of UDAR, Vitali Klitschko , the correspondent .

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AL BALA Feb. 27, 2012, 4:33 p.m.    

Klitschko now you begin to defend election

Klitschko confident that the opposition will get a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in October 2012, but the election will need to defend together.


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AL BALA Feb. 28, 2012, 3:14 p.m.    

About Lutsenko case, Klitschko made a comment in front of the &quot;court&quot; (video);items=46804&amp;type=0


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AL BALA Feb. 27, 2012, 4:04 p.m.    

Lutsenko &quot;vpayaly&quot; 643,000 fine

Lutsenko driver Leonid Prystuplyuku have to pay a fine of 293 000.

However, the judge announced the final sentence - if convicted Lutsenko to prison or to probation, or do it free. The judges announced a break for 5 minutes, after which and have to declare a full sentence.

&quot;Forgot to insert a number, how many years in prison&quot; - joked Lutsenko.


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AL BALA Feb. 27, 2012, 4:14 p.m.    

The son of former minister does not know what will happen next, and fear of confiscation apartment

Relatives of former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko was stunned sentence declared him Pechersk district court of Kyiv.

According to the correspondent , brother of ex-minister Sergei Lutsenko, commenting on the judgment seat of Yuriy Lutsenko for 4 years, promised that the defense will appeal the verdict and will use all possible means to undo the unjust sentence.

A son of former minister Alexander questions that he was going to do next, confused said: &quot;I do not know. I do not know what will happen to our apartment (including the court's decision to confiscate the property of Yuriy Lutsenko - Ed.). Go out ask my mother. &quot; He also said that throughout the trial and could not tip over even a few words with his father.

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harley Feb. 27, 2012, 4:38 p.m.    

This shows again how false are the recent statements by Yanukovych that he wants a fair parliamentary election; in fact almost everything he says is false. Shame on you Yanukovych and your clan. A pox on your houses!

There was no evidence produced at trial that he had done anything criminal and some witnesses testified that the prosecution attempted to intimidate them into giving false testimony.

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Eckard von Goeden Feb. 27, 2012, 6:31 p.m.    

yeah ! yeah ! yeah !

That's the way it must be !!!

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AL BALA Feb. 28, 2012, 3:07 p.m.    

Lutsenko spit in the face prosecutor (video);items=46803&amp;type=0


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