The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President Yanukovych behind Ukraine's ex-interior minister detention - Tymoshenko

RIA Novosti

18:53 26/12/2010

KIEV, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Accusations against Ukraine's former interior minister, who was detained by secret police on Sunday, are politically motivated, opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko said.

Yuriy Lutsenko was taken into custody after being held by secret police in Kiev, his lawyer said.

Lutsenko is accused of embezzling state funds and "abuse of power." He is facing further charges of giving his driver senior officer's ranks.

Tymoshenko said Ukraine's hard-line leadership "wants to get rid of everybody who stands in the way of its fake reforms."

She said President Viktor Yanukovych, who narrowly beat her in the presidential election run-off in February, was behind a conspiracy to detain Lutsenko.

"Lutsenko's "guilt," in Yanukovych's opinion, is aggravated by the fact that... he is standing shoulder to shoulder with Yulia Tymoshenko, whom Yanukovych views as the main stumbling block," she said.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office said it would comment on Monday.

Tymoshenko, the former prime minister and leader of the orange revolution, was charged last week with misusing $425 million of state funds while in office. She has rejected the accusation, saying she is being targeted for challenging Yanukovych.