Prosecutors seek 2.5-year imprisonment for Lutsenko in episode in Yuschenko poisoning case
A representative of the prosecution in the case against former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, who is charged with negligence when signing an order to extend the surveillance over Valentyn Davydenko, a driver of former deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Volodymyr Satsiuk, has asked the court to sentence Lutsenko and other defendants to two years and six months of imprisonment.
Prosecutor Dmytro Lobanov said this during the debate on Lutsenko's case in Pechersky District Court in Kyiv, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported. The prosecutors offered such punishment taking into account the time, which Lutsenko has already spent under arrest.
At the same, the court debate took place without the victim, Davydenko, who said in his telegram: that he had no complaints against the defendant and asked the court not to summon him to the trial.
"I have no complaints to the defendant and ask the court not to summon me to its sessions," Davydenko said in a statement.
However, Davydenko's personal attitude to Lutsenko cannot determine the court's decision in this case, the state prosecutor said.
Investigators thoroughly looked into all circumstances surrounding the crime and analyzed all the evidence proving the defendants' guilt, he said.
As reported, Lutsenko is 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 now believes 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.
On February 27, 2012, Pechersky District Court in Kyiv found Lutsenko guilty of committing official crimes and sentenced him to four years in prison, with confiscation of his property.
The essence of the charges lies in the fact that Lutsenko, while serving as interior minister, allegedly facilitated the accrual of an illegal pension to his driver, Leonid Prystupliuk, the allocation of housing to him, as well as his inclusion in the operational services department.
The court also found the ex-minister guilty of misusing public money for the celebration of the Police Day at the Ukraine National Palace in 2008-2009.
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