The possibility for the release and the pardon was always there. The actual procedure for pardon is regulated by a presidential decree and can be adjusted overnight. But for more than two years, the president chose not to exercise his right.

When the pardon came, it happened surprisingly fast. On the night of April 5, the presidential press service reported that Ukraine’s Ombudswoman for Human Rights appealed to the president for a pardon and he instructed his commission to make recommendations on that appeal. 

On the morning of April 7, Lutsenko was free and sitting in the prison warden’s office in Chernihiv Oblast waiting for his ride back home to Kyiv. It happened within minutes after the president’s decree was posted on the website. 

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