Crimean leader protests against detention of regional ministers in corruption case
May 12, 2000, 5 p.m. |
KIEV - The leader of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on Thursday protested the detention of two regional officials suspected of abusing their posts, saying the moves were politically motivated.
Police detained Crimean Finance Minister Liudmyla Denysova and Agriculture Minister Mykola Orlovskyi on Wednesday, later releasing Denysova, the Interfax news agency reported.
Crimean Premier Serhiy Kunitsyn, speaking on 1+1 TV channel, denounced the arrests as political and said his government would look into the case.
Denysova, the finance minister, called her arrest a "political provocation."
Corruption, crime and violence have plagued Crimea since criminal gangs moved into the Black Sea peninsula following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Crimea was once a favorite vacation spot for the Communist elite.
A police crackdown launched last year helped lower the region’s crime rate.