KIEV, March 4 (Itar-Tass) – A witness in the MP Yevgeny Shcherban assassination case said former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko was the mastermind of the crime and ex-Prime Minister Pvel Lazarenko its perpetrator.
“Lazarenko is involved as the perpetrator and Timoshenko as the mastermind of the murder of my colleague, comrade and namesake,” former Donetsk Region Governor Vladimir Shcherban said in court on Monday, March 4.
He said that the conflict between Lazarenko and Shcherban had had a business nature.
Kiev’s Pechersky District Court, which has convened in the building of Kiev’s Court of Appeals, started the investigation of the Shcherban assassination in the absence of Timoshenko who has refused to attend the hearing for ill health.
However her lawyer Sergei Vlasenko insists that his defendant had not refused to go to Kiev for the court hearing but that she had not been brought from Kharkov, where she is undergoing medical treatment at a railway hospital, to Kiev.
“I demand that Timoshenko be brought to the court hearing,” he said.
“Timoshenko refused to either be transported to Kiev or to take part in the court hearing by way of videoconference,” the State Penitentiary Service said.
It said Timoshenko had cited her poor health once again and said that Penitentiary Service personnel should take into account the conclusions made by the German doctors who are attending to her.
Meanwhile, some 50 Timoshenko supporters are rallying in front of the court building. They are carrying Batkivshchina flags and flags with images of Timoshenko and convicted former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko. A poster with the portrait of President Viktor Yanukovich and the “Error 438 Democracy not found” words has been hung on the fence. The protesters are chanting “Shame on corrupt judges” and “Yulya is our president”. Police have stepped up security.
Shcherban was shot and killed at Donestk’s airport in 1996. His wife and an airport employee were also killed in the attack.
Their son, Ruslan Shcherban, gave the Prosecutor General’s Office documents claiming that Timoshenko and former Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko might have been reportedly involved in the killing of his father.
He claims that the assassins were paid from bank accounts controlled by Timoshenko and Lazarenko.
Ruslan Shcherban said he is not pursuing any political goals and has not received any special assignments or offers from the ruling Party of Regions.