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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lutsenko Tenders Resignation, Plans to Sue Bild

Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, following the scandal at Frankfurt Airport, has tendered his resignation to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrayinska Pravda reports.

At the same time, Lutsenko has denied wrongdoing, claiming that he only had a mug of beer, that he has no quarrel with German police and that the Hesse state police chief even apologized to him. (In official statements, German police and Lufthansa maintain otherwise. Deputy police chief Günter Hefner in the state of Hesse has denied Lutsenko's apology claim.)

Lutsenko plans to sue Bild, the German newspaper that first circulated the report, after accusing the tabloid of defamation. He has also alluded to his fellow party members as being behind what he called a “smear campaign” against him.



Anonymous said...

Hey Taras,

What is going on here? What is your reaction to this and what do people on the street think?

I always assumed that Lutsenko, politics aside, was the lesser of two weevils.

Taras said...

Hi Leopolis,

As of this writing, the story is still evolving.

According to news reports, Germany has already sent the surveillance video to Ukraine for review. The Verkhovna Rada today gave the Cabinet a week to conduct an investigation.

Naturally, there are two sides to this story:

(1) Lutsenko and his son were drunk and aggressive;
(2) Lufthansa and German police were mistaken and aggressive.

Both sides are accusing each other and both sides may have been out of line.

German police may have used force against Minister Lutsenko and Consul Dyatlov, in violation of diplomatic immunity. Bild, the German tabloid, may have exaggerated some details of the story, namely Lutsenko’s son blood alcohol test.

Meanwhile, the Consul may have attempted a cover-up, as evidenced by discrepancies between his earliest and latest statements. It’s hard to get our officials to report “one story for all.”

At any rate, Tymoshenko will be unwilling to let go of a loyalist like Lutsenko in the face of upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.