Human rights monitors slam Prosecutor’s demand in Lutsenko case

The Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement have criticized the call on Tuesday from the Prosecutor for former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yury Lutsenko to receive a lengthy prison sentence.

Vadim Pivovarov, the Association’s Executive Director told the Deutsche Welle Ukrainian Service that the trial of Yury Lutsenko had been accompanied by violations of procedural norms, and therefore the adequacy of any demands regarding his conviction must be placed in question.

Representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office asked the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv to sentence Lutsenko to four and a half years imprisonment with confiscation of property. They stated that the severity of the punishment was because of the “degree of severity” of the crime which they claim Yury Lutsenko committed.

The judges are afraid of the Prosecutors

According to Vadim Pivovarov the travesty of a trial of Lutsenko showed many violations of procedural norms and therefore any such sentence will be unacceptable. There are also big question marks over the unfounded detention of Lutsenko in a SIZO [remand prison] and the interrogation of witnesses in the case.

They have no doubt that the former Minister will be given the sentence that the Prosecutor demanded. “In Ukraine at present 99% of cases are passed by the court in favour of the Prosecutor, since judges are scared of prosecutors since they have influence on the High Council of Justice which appoints judges”, Pivovarov explains. He hopes that Lutsenko will be helped by the European Court of Human Rights since there were serious procedural violations during the court proceedings.

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