The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has enough grounds to charge former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with involvement in killing Verkhovna Rada deputy Yevhen Scherban in 1996, First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin said.
“We have enough grounds to indict her,” Kuzmin said in an interview published in the Thursday issue of the Russian-language newspaper Segodnya (Today).
Asked when these charges could be brought against Tymoshenko, Kuzmin said, “As German doctors said, she needs to rest from stress for eight weeks [roughly until the end of September]. So we are waiting for this term to expire. As soon as the doctors say that she can be bothered, we will come to her with the charges immediately. We have everything ready for this.”
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has officially asked the U.S. authorities to provide assistance in questioning former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, he said.
Lazarenko has given his consent to such questioning, but this also requires a sanction by the U.S. authorities, Kuzmin said. “As soon as we get a positive answer, we are ready to travel to the U.S. and question Lazarenko on the Scherban murder case,” he said.
Scherban, a member of the Liberal Party’s executive committee and a parliamentarian, was gunned down while disembarking a plane at the Donetsk airport on November 3, 1996. The killers fled the scene in a car. Scherban, his wife and a mechanic died from injuries on the spot. The plane’s flight engineer injured to his neck died later in a hospital. Law enforcement agencies ruled out political motives behind the crime.
The Luhansk Regional Court of Appeals found Vadym Bolotskykh guilty of killing Scherban and sentenced him to life in prison in April 2003.
Yevhen Scherban’s son, Ruslan Scherban, a member of the Donetsk Regional Council, said at a press conference on April 4, 2012 that he had passed documents indicating to Tymoshenko’s and Lazarenko’s possible involvement in his father’s murder to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Tymoshenko and Lazarenko have categorically denied their involvement in the murder.