Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych has pardoned jailed former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, a close ally of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko.
The announcement was made on the presidential website. Yanukovych said he had signed a decree that grants a pardon to Lutsenko who was imprisoned for embezzlement and illegal surveillance. Appeals by Ukranian and European Union officials had led to the move. A total of six jailed people were pardoned including former Minister of Environmental Protection Georgy Filipchuk.
Yulia Timoshenko remains incarcerated. She is serving a seven year sentence for abuse of office, which her supporters believe is politically motivated.