The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the arrest and jailing of Ukraine’s former interior minister violated his human rights.
Yuri Luksenko, a key ally of former Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko, was sentenced to four years in prison in February for embezzlement and abuse of office.
Like Tymoshenko, Luksenko claims the charges were engineered by current president, Viktor Yanukovich.
The court ordered a payment of 15,000 euros in damages. Ukraine has not been ordered to release the 47-year-old though. The government says it will appeal the ruling.
Sergiy Vlasenko, Tymoshenko’s lawyer was delighted with the ruling and says they’ll now take the same course of action as Lutsenko.
“The court found that of Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated. They’ve recognised that this was politically motivated persecution,” said Vlasenko.
Tymoshenko is in jail for seven years for abuse of office as prime minister. Concerns continue over her health after a recent hunger strike to protest her innocence.
Evgeniya Rudenko, euronews’ correspondent in Kiev says: “This ruling over Yuri Lutsenko could set an important precedent for the higher profile case of Ukraine’s former PM. The European Court of Human Rights is due to begin hearing her appeal on August 28.”