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Tymoshenko promises new top cop, if elected

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Dec. 7, 2009, 10:48 a.m. | Ukraine — by Staff reports

Prime minister says the current prosecutor general is controlled by opposition Party of Regions and President Victor Yushchenko.
© Yulia Tymoshenko website

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has promised to replace Oleksandr Medvedko if elected president. “The [new] president will submit the candidate of prosecutor general, and the [new] president will answer for the prosecutor general,” Tymoshenko said on Dec. 5 during the evening talk show “Big Politics,” aired by Inter TV, the nation’s most watched television channel.

Tymoshenko said Medvedko is controlled by the opposition Party of Regions headed by Victor Yanukovych, a circumstance that has made it impossible to hold accountable individuals responsible for bank fraud on a massive scale during the fall of 2008.

“Some $2 billion (Hr 17.5 billion) were simply sucked out of Ukraine… After the presidential election, I will sweep out the beehive that represents Ukraine’s banking system, I’ll turn it upside down and show people through which banks and how the scam worked,” Tymoshenko said.

Oleksandr Medvedko, appointed in July 2007, heads Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office. Ukraine’s Constitution (Article 122) says public prosecution shall be headed by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, who is appointed to - or removed from - the office by the president subject to the consent of the Verkhovna Rada.

“Parliament may express non-confidence in the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, which shall entail his resignation from the office,” says the Constitution. “The term of powers of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine shall be five years.”

The term of current PGO chief Oleksandr Medvedko, reinstalled by Yushchenko in July 2007 in a political deal with the Party of Regions, expires in November 2012.

Tymoshenko has often expressed her frustration with state prosecutors.

“The PGO is today like a limited liability company, one controlled by the Party of Regions leaders, who have agreed with the president on who should be in charge,” Tymoshenko said on Nov. 26.
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