|14th General Prosecutor of Ukraine|
|Assumed office |
12 May 2016
|Preceded by||Viktor Shokin|
|Minister of Internal Affairs|
19 December 2008 – 11 March 2010
|Prime Minister||Yulia Tymoshenko|
Oleksandr Turchynov (Acting)
|Preceded by||Vasyl Tsushko|
|Succeeded by||Anatolii Mohyliov|
4 February 2005 – 1 December 2006
|Prime Minister||Yulia Tymoshenko|
|Preceded by||Mykola Bilokon|
|Succeeded by||Vasyl Tsushko|
|People's Deputy of Ukraine|
May 14, 2002 – March 3, 2005
|Constituency||Socialist Party, No.3|
November 23, 2007 – December 19, 2007
|Constituency||Our Ukraine–PSD Bloc, No.1|
November 27, 2014 – May 12, 2016
|Constituency||Petro Poroshenko Bloc, No.2|
Yuriy Vitaliyovych Lutsenko
14 December 1964
Rivne, Soviet Union
|Political party||Socialist Party (1991–2006)|
People's Self-Defense (2006–2013)
Petro Poroshenko Bloc (2014–present)
|Spouse(s)||Iryna Stepanivna (since 1988)|
|Alma mater||Lviv Polytechnic National University|
Lutsenko is a 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. Lutsenko is also a former leader of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko party and a former leader of its faction in parliament.
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. Lutsenko was held at the Lukyanivska Prison from 26 December 2010 until 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, human rights organizations, and other international organizations protested against the sentence and questioned whether it was a "fair, transparent and independent legal process".
- 1 Early life
- 2 Political biography
- 3 Prosecutor General of Ukraine
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Awards
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Lutsenko was born in Rivne. His father was Vitaliy Ivanovych Lutsenko (15 March 1937 – 4 June 1999), who was elected people's deputy of Ukraine in 1994 and 1998, and secretary of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Ukraine. Lutsenko's mother is Vira Mikhailivna (born 1936), a veterinarian.
Lutsenko earned his degree in engineering in 1989 from Lviv Polytechnical Institute.
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 the Orange revolution". From 1991, Lutsenko was a long-term member of the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU); prior to his appointment to the executive branch, he was people's deputy in the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) beginning in February 2002. Lutsenko belonged to the 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 run for both the Kiev City Council and Rivne Oblast Council simultaneously in the lists of the 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 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, Lutsenko suspended his 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
In 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. The flight 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. He said none of these publications mentioned the apologies of the German police. Lutsenko was confident that a dirty campaign had been waged against him in Ukraine. The aim of the campaign, according to him, was 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 the 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, on 12 May 2009, Lutsenko claimed he would 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 believed 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 insisted on accepting the resignation of Lutsenko without getting any proof of the incident at Frankfurt airport. The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc faction refused to support the resignation of the interior minister without any proof concerning 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. He served his time in a prison in the city of Mena. 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". At the time he was 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 old party People's Self-Defense Political Party was renamed Third Ukrainian Republic in July 2014; however, Lutsenko was not a member of this revamped People's Self-Defense Political Party.
In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Lutsenko was re-elected into parliament after being in the top 10 of the electoral list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc. He then became Parliamentary leader of the parties faction in parliament.
Prosecutor General of Ukraine
On 12 May 2016 parliament appointed Lutsenko Prosecutor General of Ukraine. This after it had changed amendments to legislation allowing a person to hold the office without a law degree. Lutsenko (who has no law degree) was also stripped of his MP mandate. This position Lutsenko was demanding since the 2007 Ukrainian political crisis.
After Ukrainian politician and activist Kateryna Handziuk died from complications from an acid attack on 4 November 2018 human rights organisations and NGOs demand the resignation of Lutsenko and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. "To prove that no one clings to power" Lutsenko announced his intention to resign (as Prosecutor General) on 6 November 2018. He also noted he considered the investigation of the case effective and that he was outraged by what he considered "PR on blood" around the Handziuk case. On 9 November 2018 President Petro Poroshenko refused to approve Lutsenko's resignation.
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.
In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Iryna Lutsenko treid to get re-elected into parliament; this time by placing 70th on the electoral list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc; but Petro Poroshenko Bloc gained 63 seats by electoral list. After fellow Petro Poroshenko Bloc members left parliament she returned to parliament on 27 January 2015.
|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.|
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Ukrainian leader Yanukovych pardons Tymoshenko ally, BBC News (7 April 2013)
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- Human rights organizations urging Ukraine's senior courts to overturn Lutsenko verdict, Kyiv Post (28 February 2012)
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- 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 Archived 29 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 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 Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 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)
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- The European Court ruling on Lutsenko case takes effect, Kyiv Post (20 November 2012)
- (in Ukrainian) Lutsenko took the colony, which sat, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 November 2016)
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- 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)
- (in 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)
- 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)
- Former interior minister Lutsenko appointed as non-staff adviser to Ukrainian president, Interfax-Ukraine (17 June 2014)
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(in Ukrainian) Ministry of Justice registered political party "Third Ukrainian Republic." Archived 7 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, TVi (channel) (1 July 2014)
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People's Front 0.33% ahead of Poroshenko Bloc with all ballots counted in Ukraine elections - CEC Archived 12 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
Poroshenko Bloc to get 132 seats in parliament - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (8 November 2014)
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- (in 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
- (in 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|
|New office|| Leader of Civil Movement "People's Self-Defense"