Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has admitted that US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch did not give him a list of persons who should not be prosecuted.
Lutsenko explained the circumstances of his meeting with the ambassador in an interview with TheBabel.
“The meeting was at the Prosecutor General’s Office, at this table in January 2017. It was not one-on-one. She was not alone, and I was not alone. Ms. Yovanovitch was interested in the Vitaly Kasko case. The thing is, Mr. Kasko had registered his mother in an official apartment, and she had never left Lviv – this was a sign of abuse,” Lutsenko explained.
“According to her, Kasko was an outstanding anti-corruption figure, and the criminal case had discredited the anti-corruption people. I set forth the details and explained that I cannot open and close cases as I please. I named a number of other so-called anti-corruption people who were involved in cases. She said that this is unacceptable, that it undermines trust in the anti-corruption activists. I took a sheet of paper, wrote down the mentioned name and said, ‘Dictate a list of untouchable persons’. She said, ‘No, you’ve misunderstood me.’ I said, ‘No, I understood you correctly; previously such lists were written at Bankova Street, and you are proposing new lists from Tankova Street (the former name of the street where the US embassy is located). The meeting ended. I’m afraid, the emotions were not very positive,” Lutsenko remarked.
At the start of March, Lutsenko told HillTV in an interview that the US ambassador had given him a list of persons who should not be investigated. The US State Department called the assertion “an obvious fiction”.