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Kiev court starting new proceedings against ex-interior minister

April 23, 2012, 9:46 UTC+3
The case hearing is held within the framework of the investigation of the criminal case of poisoning of Ukraine’s ex-President Viktor Yushchenko
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KIEV, April 23 (Itar-Tass) — The Pechersk District Court of Kiev on Monday for the second time will begin the consideration of a criminal case against former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko who is accused of illegal wiretapping and spying upon the movements of the driver of the former First Deputy Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vladimir Satsyuk. The case hearing is held within the framework of the investigation of the criminal case of poisoning of Ukraine’s ex-President Viktor Yushchenko, Lutsenko’s lawyer Alexei Baganets said.

“On Monday, the case preliminary hearing will be held again,” he said. According to the lawyer, this is linked with the fact that the trial will be held by a new court composition – solely by Judge Anna Medushevskaya who was earlier on the panel of judges together with Sergei Vovk and Oksana Tsarevich.

The former interior minister was detained on December 26, 2010. The Pechersk District Court chose for him a measure of restraint in the form of arrest in connection with the fact that “the accused did not come to the investigator and grossly violated the requirements of his recognisance not to leave.” In February 2012, the court found Lutsenko guilty of abuse of office and sentenced him to four years imprisonment with confiscation of property.

In September 2004, Yushchenko, as a presidential candidate, met with the SBU leadership after which felt unwell and was hospitalised on September 10 in a Vienna clinic. Doctors said that he was poisoned with dioxin, and that the poison got into the patient’s body about five days before hospitalisation.

Meanwhile, the ally of the ex-president, member of parliament David Zhvania said that the scandal surrounding the poisoning is an idea of Yushchenko’s election headquarters. First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin told journalists that “Zhvania testified that there was no poisoning at all and that the whole story was invented specially for the electioneering that was built on accusing the then government.”

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