KIEV, February 16 (Itar-Tass) — Chairman of Kiev's Pechora district court Sergei Vovk said the verdict for the former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko would be announced on February 27. The prosecutor demanded for Lutsenko to be sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.
In his final statement, the former police chief said he regarded the criminal case against him to be the incumbent authorities' revenge for his political position.
"It is revenge for honest work in the capacity of a minister; for the position taken during the presidential election in 2004, for cooperation with Yulia Tymoshenko and for Maidan -- the fear that it might happen again - these are the reasons behind the demonstrative trial of Tymoshenko and myself," Lutsenko said.
He underlined that "his staying in prison was not a result of the fight against corruption. There is not a penny of selfish gains in the indictment, and the actions, which the Prosecutor General’s Office regards as illegitimate, have been and will be done by all interior ministers. But I'm the only person in the prisoner's dock. Therefore, the reason for my being behind bars is not in my service."
Lutsenko is accused of exceeding his authority and theft of state property in "especially large amount."
The investigators estimate the damage he caused to the state at around one million hrivnas /125,000 dollars/. The Penal Code article under which he was charged envisions 7 to 12 years for this offense.