Ukraine prosecutor claims he was fired for investigating president's wife

[JURIST] Recently fired Ukrainian Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun is claiming his termination last month was a direct result of an investigation he launched into the expenditures of the wife of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [BBC profile]. Piskun was looking into the costs involved when US-born Kateryna Yushchenko-Chumachenko flew a group of her US relatives to Kiev on a chartered plane for her husband's presidential inauguration earlier this year. Piskun said the bill for the trip totaled £155,000 ($274,217) and he was investigating who funded the costs, implying that there may be some link to a Ukrainian businessman wanted in the US for money laundering. Piskun said, "My dismissal was a direct consequence of my refusal to submit to political pressure." Yushchenko denies Piskun's allegations, saying he was instead fired for his incompetence in failing to finalize a politically-charged investigation into the 2000 killing of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze [JURIST report]. The Independent has more.



 

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