KIEV, April 7 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine’s ex-Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, pardoned by President Viktor Yanukovich earlier on Sunday, says he intends to continue political activity but has no presidential ambitions.
Right after leaving a penal colony in the Chernigov region on Sunday, he said in a brief conversation with reporters that he did not intend to run for president in 2015, but said he would “support democratic candidates at the election”. “I will be doing all possible so that Ukraine resumes a democratic development, but without seeking any formal political role,” he stressed.
In February 2012, Lutsenko was sentenced to four years in prison for abuse of power and appropriation of state property in especially big amount.
On Sunday he was pardoned in a presidential decree, together with ex-Minister for Ecology and Environmental Protection Georgy Filipchuk and four other inmates. The presidential press service said “at the president’s initiative the criminal legislation in Ukraine is being reformed, which is aimed at humanization of legal norms and at reducing the number of people remaining behind the bars”.
Commenting on the decision of the pardon commission under the Ukrainian president, its chairman, parliamentarian from the ruling party Gennady Vassilyev, stressed that the decision on six inmates had been approved unanimously by all 19 members of the commission and was aimed at “bringing criminal legislation of Ukraine in line with European standards”.