Ukraine's Chief Prosecutor Denies That President's Poisoning Has Been Solved

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's chief prosecutor denied Friday that the poisoning of President Viktor Yushchenko during the 2004 election campaign has been solved, one day after the president said prosecutors had enough evidence to arrest those involved.

Yushchenko before (L) and after poisoning

"This crime has not been solved ... At this moment I do not know who committed it," Oleksandr Medvedko told reporters.

Yushchenko became severely ill during the campaign, and after treatment in Austria was diagnosed as having suffered massive dioxin poisoning.

He said the symptoms began appearing after a dinner with senior security officials. The security officials who attended the dinner have denied all allegations of involvement.

The poisoning knocked Yushchenko off the campaign trail for weeks, and left his face severely pockmarked. The scars still remain.

Ukrainian authorities have concluded that it was an assassination attempt, but more than two years after the incident, no one has been charged and critics have accused prosecutors of dragging out the investigation.

Yushchenko said Thursday prosecutors had enough evidence to detain those who were involved, but asserted it would happen only if prosecutors "have the courage to do it."

Yushchenko also accused prosecutors of politicizing the investigation, though he gave no further details.

Source: International Herald Tribune


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