Commentary and Analysis: Yanukovych’s pardon of Yuriy Lutsenko
On April 7th 2013, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, signed a decree (number 197/137) pardoning six prisoners, including the former Minister of the Interior, Yuri Lutsenko and the former Minister of Environment, Georgiy Filipchuk. The decision came after the country's Ombudsman, Valeriya Lutkovska, petitioned for their release. On Saturday (April 6th) the presidential committee for pardons recommended that the president should positively react to these petitions.
Georgiy Filipchuk, minister of environment in Yulia Tymoshenko’s government, charged with abuse of office was initially sentenced for three years in prison. His sentence was reduced, following the appeal, to two years. Yuri Lutsenko, charged with of abuse of office and embezzlement was serving, following the court’s decision of February 12th 2012, a four-year sentence. His appeal was initially dismissed on April 2nd 2013.
Former Polish president, Alexander Kwasniewski, former president of the European Parliament, Pat Cox had called for Ukraine to release the political prisoners. Former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, remains jailed for abuse of power in relation to a gas deal with Russia that was signed when she was in power.
New Eastern Europe commentary and analysis:
In response to the news, we asked colleagues and analysts to provide with us their short interpretation of the events as they unfolded. We will update this page as more commentary comes in.
Volodymyr Ariev – Ukrainian People’s Deputy, Kyiv
A Positive Signal?: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/743
Paweł Kowal – Polish politician and member of the European Parliament (Chair, EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee) and adjunct at the Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences.
Only for People with Strong Nerves: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/741
Josh Black – Oxford University student and editor of Vostock Cable
Lutsenko's Pardon – for international consumption: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/744
Andrew Wilson – Senior Policy Fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
The Lutsenko Pardon: Enough to appease the EU?: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/745
Volodymyr Horbach – political analyst at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kyiv.
The Lutsenko Factor: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/749
Jakub Parusinski – an editor at the Kyiv Post.
Lutsenko Pardon is No Signal for Change https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/747
Additional research by Maryana Prokop.