The fact that former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko has appealed his conviction cannot stop its enforcement, and a decision whether Lutsenko's can take part in court hearings is for the court itself to make, says Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka.
“You know that Lutsenko has been convicted on one criminal case, and the sentence has taken legal effect,” Pshonka said at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday.
“He has received four years’ imprisonment. The penitentiary service has sent him to an institution to serve his sentence,” Pshonka said.
“As for the fact that he has filed an appeal [against his conviction], the law stipulates that this does not stop the enforcement of the sentence,” he said.
A court also handed down a sentence on the second criminal case against Lutsenko, Pshonka said.
When an appeals court hears Lustenko’s appeal, it will decide, taking into account, among other factors, Lutsenko’s opinion, whether he will attend hearings in the courtroom or whether a videoconference will be arranged, Pshonka said.
It was reported earlier that Lutsenko had been escorted to correctional facility No. 91 in the Chernihiv region on Friday morning to serve his sentence.
Kyiv’s Pechersky District Court found Lutsenko guilty of committing a number of official crimes and sentenced him to 4 years in prison on February 7, 2012.