Police Summon Medvedchuk for Questioning

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian police said July 15 they had summoned former President Leonid Kuchma's one-time administration chief as part of an investigation into the awarding of medals and state honors to the ex-leader's cronies.

Viktor Medvechuk

Viktor Medvechuk, who now heads the opposition Ukrainian Socialist Party (United), was summoned to explain why "some people received high state decorations and medals," a police statement said.

Police said they want to interview Medvedchuk about several Hero of Ukraine medals awarded to officials who were close to Kuchma's inner circle.

Medvedchuk was a top ally of Kuchma, whose decade in power ended after former opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko won last year's bitterly contested presidential vote.

Yushchenko, inaugurated in January, has pledged to crack down on corruption and nepotism and sever government links to organized crime that plagued Kuchma's decade-long tenure.

Medvedchuk was not immediately available for comment.

Source: AP