Monday, April 8, 2013

Ukrainian President Pardons Jailed Ex-Ministers

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has pardoned jailed ex-Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, according to a decree posted on the president’s website on Sunday. Lutsenko, an ally of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, was sentenced in February 2012 to four years in prison for abuse of office. Ukrainian human rights envoy Valeria Lutkovskaya earlier appealed to Yanukovych with a request to pardon Lutsenko due to his deteriorating health condition in prison. Lutsenko was scheduled to leave prison in late 2014. Following the decree, Lutsenko has been released from jail, the Ukrainian penal service said. “Today [Sunday] the [presidential] decree on pardoning several convicts was executed in full and all the convicts were freed from prison,” the penal service’s press office reported. Among those pardoned is former Environmental Minister Georgy Filipchuk.

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