Open letter by jailed former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko

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Jan. 19, 2011, 1:42 p.m. |

Jailed former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko on Jan. 19 issued an open letter declaring that he is a victim of political repression.

Editor's Note:Jailed former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko was detained in Kyiv while walking his dog on Dec. 26. Kyiv's Pechersk district court the next day ordered him jailed for two months for failing to aquaint charges of abuse of office and misspending up to $30,000. Lutsenko says his alleged crime is hiring a driver two years older than allowed by Ministry regulations which caused the state Hr. 40,000 ($5,000) in damages. He has dismissed the charges as political repression. The State Security Service (SBU) of Ukraine moved Lutsenko from an SBU jail to the Lukyanivskiy pre-trial confinement center on Dec. 28. Kyiv's Court of Appeals denied Lutsenko bail on Jan. 5 and Lutsenko's lawyers on Jan. 17 filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights protesting against his alleged illegal arrest. What follows is an English-language translation of his open letter by released on Jan. 19 by his People's Self-Defense Party's website. I thank all those who supported me and my family. We feel this support and this is important for us.

Before God and people I swear that I am not guilty of any crime, that is being "rigged" by top officials in the General Prosecutor's Office.

The only reason for my imprisonment in the pre-trial Lykyanovskiy facity is to prevent me for speaking aloud about the resurgence of thugocracy in Ukraine.

I, like others in pre-trial police custody, am a prisoner of war of the criminal elements, who have seized power in Ukraine. Their goal is destory political opponents and establish an atmosphere of fear in order to rob the country and people with impunity.

The current authorities have no morals and do not respect the law. They bought parliament and now control the country's law-enforcement agencies, the courts and prosecutor's office. The only thing they fear is popular resistance.

This year is a time for each person to take a stand. The pendulum of Ukrainian history is moving into a dark period. What happens next depends on the ability of Ukrainians to defend their families, their soul and the history of the country.

Do not remain silent!

Be united!

Glory to Ukraine!

Yuriy Lutsenko
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