|Minister of Internal Affairs|
18 December 2007 – 11 March 2010
|Preceded by||Vasyliy Tsushko|
|Succeeded by||Anatolii Mohyliov|
4 February 2005 – 1 December 2006
|Preceded by||Mykola Bilokon|
|Succeeded by||Vasyl Tsushko|
|Born||Yuriy Vitaliyovych Lutsenko
14 December 1964
Rivne, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||People's Self-Defense Political Party
(before 2006 – Socialist Party of Ukraine)
|Spouse(s)||Iryna Stepanivna (1966)|
|Children||Oleksandr (1989), Vitaliy (1999)|
Yuriy Vitaliyovych Lutsenko (Ukrainian: Юрій Віталійович Луценко; born 14 December 1964) is a Ukrainian politician and statesman and former Minister of Internal Affairs. He occupied this post in the two Cabinets of Yulia Tymoshenko and in Cabinets of Yuriy Yekhanurov, and Viktor Yanukovych. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is the Ukrainian police authority, and Lutsenko became the first civilian minister in February, 2005.
On 13 December 2010 Lutsenko was charged with abuse of office and forgery by Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka. On 27 February 2012 Lutsenko was sentenced to four years in jail for embezzlement and abuse of office. From then Lutsenko was held at the Lukyanivska Prison from 26 December 2010 till 7 April 2013 when he was released from prison because Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pardoned him (among others) for health reasons. Both Lutsenko and his political allies regard his trial as an act of political persecution by the regime of Viktor Yanukovych. The European Union, the United States Department of State, Canada, other international organizations and human rights organizations protested against the sentence and questioned if it was a "fair, transparent and independent legal process".
Lutsenko was born in Rivne. His father is Vitaliy Ivanovych Lutsenko (15 March 1937 – 4 June 1999) – elected as people deputy of Ukraine in 1994 and 1998, secretary of Central Committee of Communist Party of Ukraine, mother is Vira Mikhailivna (1936) – veterinary doctor.
Yuriy Lutsenko received his degree in Engineering in 1989 from Lviv Polytechnical Institute.
Yuriy Lutsenko gained public fame as one of the leaders of the Ukraine without Kuchma! campaign, which followed the Cassette Scandal of 2000. He was also one of the "faces of Orange revolution". Lutsenko was a long-term member (since 1991) of the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU), prior to his appointment to the executive branch he was people’s deputy in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) since February 2002. Lutsenko belonged to so-called "right wing" of SPU which takes a pro-European position akin to social democratic parties in the rest of Europe, rather than a post-Soviet conservative socialism.
As a Minister, Lutsenko refused to run in the 2006 parliamentary election on his party list. However, he has been running for both the Kiev City Council and Rivne Oblast Council simultaneously in the lists of Socialist Party – "to make the point", as he explained. Having won these seats, Lutsenko resigned from both in favor of his Minister's position as the Constitution of Ukraine prohibits occupying the positions in the legislative and executive branches of the government at the same time.
Resignation from the Socialist Party
After his appointment as a minister he suspended the membership of the SPU in the summer of 2006 as a result of the party leader Oleksandr Moroz's entering into a Parliamentary coalition with the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Party of Regions of the previous PM Yanukovych. When the Parliamentary coalition of the Party of Regions, the Communists and the defected Socialists began to take shape, Lutsenko stated flatly that he refused to continue serving as the minister in a future government formed by these parties. However, after President Viktor Yushchenko agreed to allow the forming of the cabinet in exchange for several political concessions including the ability to pick the Minister of Interior, Lutsenko stated that the president asked him personally to remain as the minister, and he would do so.
Incident at Frankfurt Airport
Early May 2009 Lutsenko became entangled in a scandal concerning his behaviour during a visit to Germany. According to German newspaper Bild Lutsenko was detained at Frankfurt Airport by the German police in a state of acute alcohol intoxication. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry dismissed these allegations, according to the information of the Ministry, on 4 May 2009 the Interior Ministry's delegation was detained at the Frankfurt airport during document checks and missed the flight, with the plane crew refused to take them on board. The delegation decided to catch the next flight. "There were no handcuffs, no drunken conflict" the department said. On 12 May 2009 Yuri Lutsenko sent in his resignation from the post of Interior Minister. In his letter of resignation the Minister described the incident that happened in Frankfurt, and stressed that the German police had officially apologized to the Ukrainian delegation for this incident but that despite this German mass media disseminated false publications, which were later re-published by Ukrainian media but that none of these publications mentioned the apologizes of the German police. Lutsenko was confident that a dirty campaign was waged against him in Ukraine. The aim of the campaign, according to him, is to destabilize the work of the Interior Ministry.
The Ukrainian Parliament has to agree with the resignation of a Minister before the Minister can leave her/his post. On 15 May 2009 it passed a resolution, stipulating to address the government with a request to suspend Yuri Lutsenko from post of the Interior Minister of Ukraine until the “drunken incident” is investigated.
From 12 May 2009 till 14 May 2009 and again on 15 May 2009 faction members of the oppositional Party of Regions blocked the Ukrainian parliament’s rostrum and presidium demanding the resignation of Lutsenko they placed (in the session hall) posters with inscriptions: “A Drunkard Minister is a shame for Ukraine”, “Drunk policeman is a criminal” and “Drunk Minister –a politician?”.
Later that 12 May 2009 Lutsenko claimed he will sue Bild. According to Lutsenko, the publication does not contain “any true things, any references to documents or real officials”.
President Viktor Yushchenko considered his appeal for resignation “a logical step, which should be made ... There was an incident which damaged the reputation of the state, the government and the minister himself. It must be settled with due regard for the interests of the nation and the country”. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko believes that the information about the incident is doubtful. "I may state that the son of the Interior Minister is a child ill with cancer; he underwent a very serious operation. This child is taking special medicines that are incompatible with alcohol drinking. Besides, no tests were made. I’m confident that this child had nothing in common at all with alcohol. And this untruth, which was publicized many times, casts doubt upon the whole information”. The Party of Regions faction insists on accepting the resignation of Lutsenko without getting any proofs of the incident at Frankfurt airport. The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc faction will not support the resignation of the Interior Minister without any proofs of the incident. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked Germany for official information about the incident, but got no response.
On 15 May 2009 the Ukrainian parliament passed a resolution asking the government to hold a-seven-day official investigation into the events at Frankfurt Airport (first deputy [interior] minister Mykhailo Kliuyev served as acting Minister that period). After that Lutsenko resumed at his post.
Dismissal as Minister
Lutsenko was dismissed by the Ukrainian parliament on 28 January 2010. The same day he was appointed by the Cabinet as first deputy Interior minister and acting Interior Minister. The Kiev District Administrative Court suspended the government's decision until the end of an investigation into his appointment, but the Cabinet claimed it had not received any court ruling on the matter. After the fall of the second Tymoshenko Government Lutsenko eventually lost his post as Minister of Internal Affairs on 11 March 2010.
Criminal cases and imprisonment
On 13 December 2010 Lutsenko was charged with abuse of office and forgery by Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka. On 5 November it was already announcement that Lutsenko faced criminal charges for an alleged financial crime involving a less than $5,000 overpayment to his driver. According to Lutsenko the criminal case against him is political persecution. Pshonka has denied this. Lutsenko was also charged with having signed an order whilst on holiday and not having cancelled the traditional "National Militia Day" despite a general instruction from the then Prime Minister to make budgetary savings where possible. Lutsenko has been jailed since 26 December 2010 in Kiev's Lukyanivka Prison. Lutsenko was arrested near his home on 26 December; on 27 December a court ordered his arrest on the grounds that he had been dodging questioning in violation of his written pledge not to leave Kiev. Three criminal cases opened against him where merged into one on 27 January 2011. Lutsenko went on a hunger strike from 22 April till 24 May 2011 in protest against his "preventive punishment".
Lutsenko filed a complaint in a U.S. court on 14 December 2011 against his (Ukrainian) prosecutors, made possible by the Alien Tort Statute, for "illegal arrest and arbitrarily prolonged detention".
On 27 February 2012, after a pre-trial detention of 14 months, Lutsenko was sentenced to fours year in jail (with confiscation of his property) for embezzlement and abuse of office . The total damages caused by Lutsenko to Ukraine’s budget had been estimated at $125,000. Lutsenko immediately after his sentence stated he will appeal against sentence. The European Commission stated the day of his sentence "signals the continuation of trials in Ukraine which do not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process"; spokesperson for the United States Department of State Victoria Nuland stated the cases raised "serious concerns about the government of Ukraine's commitment to democracy and the rule of law"; other Council of Europe member have criticised the sentence in similar wording. In a statement issued by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) right after the verdict of 27 February 2012 Lutsenko was named "the victim of a political vendetta"; the next day the President of Pace Jean-Claude Mignon called for his release. Human rights organizations have urged the high courts in Ukraine to overturn the verdict against Lutsenko. On 29 February 2012 the European People's Party demanded "immediate release of Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuriy Lutsenko and other political prisoners; it also insisted the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union should not be signed and ratified until these demands where met. An appeal to the sentence was filed 7 March 2012. Since the EU has shelved the European Union Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine because of the imprisonment of him and Tymoshenko.
On 3 July 2012, the ECHR stated that the arrest of Lutsenko violated his human rights and the court ordered the Ukrainian government to pay 15,000 Euro to Lutsenko as compensation for moral damages.
On 17 August 2012 Lutsenko was sentenced to two years in prison for the extension of an investigative case concerning Valentyn Davydenko, the driver of former Security Service of Ukraine First Deputy Chief Volodymyr Satsiuk, as part of an investigation into the poisoning of then presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko.
During his imprisonment Lutsenko was moved several times to hospital to receive medical treatment.
Lutsenko lost his appeal on 3 April 2013; this High Court ruling could be challenged in any other Ukrainian court.
The judges of the Higher Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases will on 10 April 2013 announce a ruling on the appeal against the second conviction of Lutsenko regarding the poisoning of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko; this will not influence the term of Lutsenko’s imprisonment.
After already having suggested it earlier President Viktor Yanukovych on 5 April 2013 proposed the presidential commission on pardons urgently to consider the request by Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Valeriya Lutkovska to pardon Lutsenko. The requests to pardon Lutsenko was made by Ukrainian parliamentary Lutkovska, former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. Lutkovska asked to pardon Lutsenko "due to the European standards of human rights, which include providing effective medical care to persons detained in prisons". On 7 April 2013 a decree by Yanukovych pardoned Lutsenko (among others) for health reasons and "to decriminalize and humanize Ukrainian legislation" and the same day he was released from prison. The decree also exempted from further punishment Lutsenko's fellow Minister in the second Tymoshenko Government Heorhiy Filipchuk. Lutsenko stated the day after his release he will "continue to remain in politics".
Lutsenko and his family had repeatedly stated that they would not seek a pardon, because they believe the charges where groundless and political punishment. Nevertheless Lutsenko's wife Iryna Lutsenko welcomed the request.
Political career after April 2013 pardoning
In the spring of 2013 Lutsenko established the non-parliamentary movement "Third Republic". He is currently not member of a political party because he is "on a path to the same goal pursued by "Fatherland" from the bottom up and from the people, by organizing a connection between opposition parties and the populace”.
Lutsenko was hospitalised on 11 January 2014 in an intensive care ward after being beaten by police in protests following the sentence of verdicts in an alleged 2011 Lenin statue bomb plot in Boryspil. Lutsenko had arrived at the courthouse after initial clashes between police and protesters an after 400 riot police had arrived. After the convicts had been transported away, several cars followed the riot police bus and blocked it at Peremohy avenue, near Svyatoshino police station. A crowd soon gathered, demanding from policemen to open their faces and to show their IDs. According to Lutsenko's wife Iryna her husband had been attacked by police as he tried to break up the violence. Lutsenko has received an official status of victim of a crime.
Lutsenko's wife Iryna Lutsenko was elected into parliament in the October 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election on the party list of "Fatherland" (number 18). In March 2012 she had stated she was not about to go into politics.
|Commander of the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise Fifth Class – awarded on 14 December 2006 for significant personal contribution to the defense of the ideals of democracy, the protection of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, and active participation in nation building.|
- Lutsenko pledges allegiance to Yuia Tymoshenko, Z I K (24 August 2010)
- (Ukrainian) Хто ми, People’s Self-Defense party
- Lutsenko’s wife says she is not about to go in for politics, UNIAN (2 March 2012)
- "On appointment of Yuriy Lutsenko as Minister of Internal Affairs". Order of President N 150/2005 (in Ukrainian). 4 February 2005.
- Ukraine prosecutors charge ally of opposition leader Tymoshenko, Kyiv Post (13 December 2010)
- Ukraine's Lutsenko jailed for 4 years (updated), Kyiv Post (27 February 2012)
- Appeal court upholds extension of Lutsenko's arrest, Kyiv Post (25 February 2011)
- Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych pardons Yulia Tymoshenko allies, BBC News (8 April 2013)
Ukrainian leader Yanukovych pardons Tymoshenko ally, BBC News (7 April 2013)
Ukrainian president pardons Lutsenko and Filipchuk – decree, Interfax-Ukraine (7 April 2013)
- Lutsenko:Tymoshenko ties get you arrested, Kyiv Post (25 February 2010)
- Yulia Tymoshenko:we demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, Official website of Yulia Tymoshenko (16 February 2011)
- People's Self-Defense launches petition for Lutsenko's release, Kyiv Post (17 January 2011)
- PACE rapporteur says Lutsenko is 'victim of a political vendetta', Kyiv Post (27 February 2012)
- EU statement:‘We are disappointed’ with Lutsenko verdict, Kyiv Post (27 February 2012)
- Lutsenko found guilty of embezzlement, Kyiv Post (28 February 2012)
- Canada ‘troubled’ by Lutsenko conviction, Kyiv Post (28 February 2012)
- Human rights organizations urging Ukraine's senior courts to overturn Lutsenko verdict, Kyiv Post (28 February 2012)
- PACE President calls for the release of Yuriy Lutsenko, Kyiv Post (28 February 2012)
- (Ukrainian) Список депутатів нової Верховної Ради, Ukrayinska Pravda (11 November 2012)
They Call Themselves the Opposition, The Ukrainian Week (31 August 2012)
Wealthy, entertainers, relatives fill party lists, Kyiv Post (2 August 2012)
Results of the vote count, Kyiv Post ( 2012)
- "Lutsenko Vitaliy Ivanovich biography" (in Russian). Hokkaido University.
- Ukrainians renew tent protest, CNN (5 March 2001)
- "On dismissal of Yuriy Lutsenko from position of Minister of Internal Affairs" (in Ukrainian). 1 December 2006.
- Yuriy Lutsenko's initiative to create civil movement "People's self-defense" supported by political party "Ukraine, onward!", Radio Ukraine (25 December 2006)
- Lutsenko sent in his resignation from post of Interior Minister, UNIAN (12 May 2009)
- Verkhovna Rada asks government to suspend Lutsenko from post, UNIAN (15 May 2009)
- Party of Regions MPs blocked parliament’s rostrum and presidium, UNIAN (12 May 2009)
- Party of Regions blocks session, UNIAN (13 May 2009)
- Regions Party unblocks parliament, break until Friday announced, Interfax-Ukraine (14 May 2009)
- Party of Regions again blocks parliament’s rostrum and presidium, UNIAN (15 May 2009)
- Lutsenko about Yanukovych: he was a convict, and he will die as convict, UNIAN (15 May 2009)
- Lutsenko to sue Bild, which published story about drunken incident, UNIAN (12 May 2009)
- Tymoshenko about Lutsenko: show from scratch, UNIAN (14 May 2009)
- Factions to continue talks to unblock Verkhovna Rada's work, UNIAN (13 May 2009)
- Speaker:Lutsenko suspended as Ukraine's interior minister, Kyiv Post (18 May 2009)
- Kliuyev to serve as Ukraine's interior minister during Lutsenko's suspension from duty, Kyiv Post (16 May 2009)
- Lutsenko says he will resume fulfilling duties as interior minister, Kyiv Post (27 May 2009)
- German newspaper Bild retracts report on drunken incident with Lutsenko's son at Frankfurt airpor, Kyiv Post (10 June 2009)
- Lutsenko says he's calm about his dismissal, Kyiv Post (28 January 2010)
- Update: Ukraine's parliament dismisses interior minister, Kyiv Post (28 January 2010)
- Regions Party: Kliuyev is legitimate head of Interior Ministry, Kyiv Post (1 February 2010)
- Ex-chief of Crimean police heads Ukrainian Interior Ministry, Kyiv Post (11 March 2010)
- Lawyer: Lutsenko detained as part of a new 'case on abuse of office', Kyiv Post (27 December 2010)
- Interior minister planning to set up full-fledged political force, Interfax-Ukraine (29-01-2009)
- President taps Pshonka, a loyalist with questionable record, as top prosecutor, Kyiv Post (12 November 2010)
- Update: Lutsenko planning to challenge criminal case against him in court, Kyiv Post (9 November 2010)
- Prosecutor general says there were no politics in questioning Tymoshenko and Turchynov, Kyiv Post (10 December 2010)
- All cases against former minister Lutsenko merged, Kyiv Post (27 January 2010)
- Ukrainian court sanctions arrest of ex-interior minister Lutsenko, RIA Novosti (27 January 2011)
- Investigator allows medical examination of Lutsenko in hospital, Kyiv Post (10 May 2011)
- Lutsenko stated about termination of hunger strike, UNIAN (24 May 2011)
- Lutsenko sues Ukrainian prosecutors in a US court, Kyiv Post (30 January 2012)
- Lutsenko verdict expected on Feb. 27, Kyiv Post (24 February 2012)
- Ukrainian Ex-minister Jailed for Abuse of Office, RIA Novosti (27 February 2012)
- European Court to consider Lutsenko's appeal against his arrest on April 17, Kyiv Post (22 March 2012)
- Lutsenko pledges to prove his innocence, Kyiv Post (27 February 2012)
- Paris sees violations in investigation of Lutsenko case, Kyiv Post (29 February 2012)
- Czech Republic worried about Lutsenko verdict, Kyiv Post (29 February 2012)
- US disappointed by Lutsenko's conviction, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
- European party demands permission for Tymoshenko to take tests at EU labs, Kyiv Post (1 March 2012)
- European lawmakers: Association agreement should not be signed with opposition in jail, Kyiv Post (1 March 2012)
- Lawyer appeals Lutsenko's verdict at Appeals Court, Kyiv Post (7 March 2012)
- Ukraine's jailed Tymoshenko calls off hunger strike, Kyiv Post (16 November 2012)
- EU leaders:Ratification of Association Agreement and DCFTA depends on settlement of Tymoshenko-Lutsenko issue, Kyiv Post (20 July 2012)
- The European Court ruling on Lutsenko case takes effect, Kyiv Post (20 November 2012)
- Lutsenko transferred to clinic from prison, says party's press secretary, Kyiv Post (4 December 2012)
- Ukrainian court keeps Tymoshenko ally in jail, Euronews (3 April 2013)
- Higher court to announce ruling on Lutsenko’s second cassation on April 10, Interfax-Ukraine (5 April 2013)
- Yanukovych proposes presidential commission urgently consider pardoning Lutsenko and Filipchuk, Interfax-Ukraine (6 April 2013)
- Yanukovych human rights policies are oriented towards European standards – pardons commission, Interfax-Ukraine (8 April 2013)
- (Ukrainian) ЯНУКОВИЧ НАКАЗАВ НЕГАЙНО РОЗІБРАТИСЯ З ПОМИЛУВАННЯМ ЛУЦЕНКА Yanukovych ordered IMMEDIATELY deal with pardons Lutsenko, Ukrayinska Pravda (5 April 2013)
- Lutsenko says has no presidential ambitions, Interfax-Ukraine (8 April 2013)
- Lutsenko’s wife pleasantly shocked at ombudsperson’s request to pardon ex-minister, Interfax-Ukraine (6 April 2013)
- Ashton, Fule salute Lutsenko’s pardon, waiting for Kyiv to deal with selective justice, Interfax-Ukraine (8 April 2013)
- Lutsenko's Third Republic will not be West Ukraine movement - political scientist, Ukrinform (24 April 2013)
Lutsenko: Ukraine needs the EU association deal, Deutsche Welle (26 April 2013)
Lutsenko presents Third Republic public movement in Lviv, Interfax-Ukraine (17 June 2013)
- United Twice, The Ukrainian Week (2 July 2013)
- Opposition leader Yuri Lutsenko injured in clashes in Ukrainian capital, CTV News (11 January 2014)
- EuroMaidan movement to move off streets, regroup, Kyiv Post (29 November 2013)
- Dozens hurt as fresh clashes erupt in Ukraine, Euronews (11 January 2014)
- Lutsenko given victim status after 2-hour interrogation by investigator, says wife, Interfax-Ukraine (13 January 2014)
- Ukraine opposition leader injured in clash with police, Los Angeles Times (11 January 2014)
- Ukraine ex-minister Lutsenko hurt in clashes in Kiev, BBC News (11 January 2014)
- (Ukrainian) Указ Президента України № 1073/2006 від 14 грудня 2006 року «Про нагородження Ю.Луценка орденом князя Ярослава Мудрого»
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yuriy Lutsenko.|
- Official website of Lutsenko's non-parliamentary movement "Third Republic"
- BBC profile
- (Ukrainian) Lutsenko: There Are Several Criminal Cases on Companies Linked to Akhmetov... (June 2005 interview)
|Minister of Internal Affairs
|Minister of Internal Affairs
|Party political offices|
|Leader of Civil Movement "People's Self-Defense"