Yuri Lutsenko Ukraine’s former interior minister has had his appeal against a prison sentence rejected.
Like his once close ally the jailed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Lutsenko is serving a four year term for abuse of power and embezzlement. He is due to be released in 2014. Both politicians are opponents of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Journalists were not let into the courtroom, where Lutsenko, who denies any wrongdoing, sat inside a glass-and-plastic box.
But outside the building the state prosecutor Mykola Kurapov defended the decision: “Lutsenko argued that he wasn’t responsible for the actions of his subordinates but the law is clear that a minister must bear personal responsibility for orders and policies he issues.
The High Court ruling cannot be challenged in any other Ukrainian court but President Yanukovych has suggested he may consider pardoning Lutsenko.
Lutsenko’s wife however is not optimistic: “I’m not expecting anything from this government nor from the president, but on the other hand we’re not going to stay in jail if Yanukovych decides to humiliate him and show false clemency. But we’re not going to beg him. The Lutsenko family will not ask for a pardon,” Iryna Lutsenko said.
The European Union has criticised the outcome describing the convictions as selective justice which smack of political vengeance. Brussels has told Ukraine it needs to address the issue of politically motivated trials if it hopes to clinch landmark agreements on political association and free trade this year.
Our correspondent in Kiev, Evgeniya Rudenko says even though Yuri Lutsenko must remain behind bars, his lawyers plan to file an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
- 1G7 says ‘global growth is our urgent priority’
- 2Third night of riots rock Barcelona’s Gràcia district
- 3New video footage: overcrowded migrant boat capsizing
- 4French labour reform action threatens to disrupt Euro 2016 fans
- 5Leaders ‘influenced Putin’ over Savchenko release, say Ukraine pilot’s lawyers
- 1Groundbreaking study sheds light on Neanderthal life
- 2Germany: #Cutesolidarity response to Kinder chocolate controversy
- 3In the EU ‘one in three deaths of under-75s is avoidable,’ says Eurostat
- 4Germany’s carrot and stick approach to refugee integration
- 5Hero’s welcome for Ukraine pilot Nadiya Savchenko after Russia prisoner swap
Wires > News
- 17:54 CET Florence fines Uffizi Gallery director for ticket tout warning
- 17:03 CET Five jailed for life in Uganda for al Shabaab World Cup bombings
- 16:52 CET Thai queen undergoes medical tests, palace says in rare statement
- 16:46 CET Freed by Russia, Ukraine’s ‘Joan of Arc’ may prove thorn in own…
- 16:34 CET Europe steps up North Korea sanctions with oil, finance bans
- 16:24 CET Russia says U.S. ‘delays’ with joint Syria action may hit peace…
- 16:20 CET South Africa to review spending on luxury vehicles for Zuma’s wives
- 16:06 CET Syrian president denies media report of new Russian-drafted…