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Kiev court declares former interior minister Lutsenko guilty

February 27, 2012, 22:48 UTC+3

His lawyers said they would appeal the verdict

1 pages in this article

KIEV, February 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Kiev’s Pechersky District Court found former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko guilty of embezzlement in collusion with his former driver.

The judge read out the verdict regarding the first count of charges brought against Lutsenko and concerning the employment of his former driver Leonid Pristuplyuk at the Interior Ministry.

The judge continued reading the verdict after a break

The prosecution requests four years and six months of prison for Lutsenko and confiscation of his property, and three years of prison, sentence suspended, for Pristuplyuk.

The prosecutor believes that it has been proved that Lutsenko unlawfully provided a flat to Pristuplyuk, gave him other benefits and ordered the celebration of Police Day in 2008-2009 at the time of austerity policy proclaimed by the government.

Lutsenko was found guilty of acting in excess of his powers and of embezzling state property on a large scale.

He was detained on December 26, 2010 by the Security Service near his home. On December 27, 2010, the Pechersky Court ordered him into custody. The trial has been on since Mat 2011. The majority of 150 witnesses called to testify in court spoke in his support, and one-third did not show up.

After threw orange revolution, Lutsenko headed the Interior Ministry twice in 2005-2006 and from 2007 to January 2010.

The son of a former Soviet Communist Party boss in Rovno, Lutsenko, 47, started his political career in the early 1990s in the Socialist Party of Ukraine as an assistant to its leader Alexander Moroz.

In the early 2000s, Lutsenko joined the opposition and was in control of the protesters during the orange revolution.

His lawyers said they would appeal the verdict.

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