Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said that the prosecution of former Minister of Economy Bohdan Danylyshyn is not politically motivated.
"Danylyshyn is not a politician, he has never been engaged in politics. He was a civil servant, who was in charge of granting permissions in the licensing system, he was minister of economy, and he introduced the corrupt schemes. He is being prosecuted for this, there’s nothing political here," the president said in an interview with BBC published on Friday.
Yanukovych also said that the former minister was given an opportunity to defend himself and to explain his actions.
"He has never been engaged in politics, so I do not understand why he needs political asylum, the president added.
Yanukovych said that the former minister would go to trial for his criminal actions.
While commenting on the criminal charges brought against members of the Ukrainian opposition, Yanukovych noted that law enforcers are opening criminal proceedings against everybody who violates the laws of Ukraine, irrespective of party affiliation.
"Each of the defendants is given the opportunity to have legal counsel – it’s their right to defend themselves and prove their innocence in court," the president said.