WASHINGTON, November 2 (Itar-Tass) — Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko, who was serving in the United States a long term for financial fraud, on Thursday was released from the Terminal Island prison, an informed source told Itar-Tass.
According to him, Lazarenko was released at 04:00, US West Coast time, (15:00 MSK). However, it is unknown where he went after that.
The Federal Correctional Institution Terminal Island is located in San Pedro near Los Angeles (California). In total, the former prime minister has spent over 10 years behind bars. It has also been reported that Lazarenko plans to go to his US estate from prison, where he is to meet with his wife and children. Lazarenko’s defence lawyers do not rule out that their client will remain under the supervision of the US law enforcers even after his release, as the issue on his residence remains unsettled.
Lazarenko headed the Ukrainian government in 1996-1997. In 2006, after a long trial in the United States he was sentenced to 9 years in prison for money laundering. According to the official count by United Nations, approximately 200,000,000 US dollars were looted by Lazarenko during 1996–1997 from the government of Ukraine.
In Ukraine, the investigators charged Lazarenko with about 50 criminal episodes, including bribery, embezzlement and abuse of office. Ukrainian First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin also confirmed that Lazarenko and Yulia Timoshenko “are suspected of involvement in the organisation of murder of parliament member Yevgeny Shcherban.” “If Lazarenko returns to Ukraine from the United States, the former prime is to be arrested on a court warrant within several criminal cases, including the murder of Shcherban. We look forward to his arrival,” Kuzmin said.