PGO Requests United States Permission To Question US-Based People Involved In UESU's Operations

KIEV, Ukraine -- The Prosecutor-General's Office has requested permission from the United States to question people involved in the operations of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine corporation (UESU).

First Deputy General Prosecutor Renat Kuzmin.

First Deputy General Prosecutor Renat Kuzmin made this statement on the "Big Politics with Yevgeny Kiselyov" program on the Inter television channel on October 28.

"I was in the United States last year (2010), I participated in the interrogation of (former prime minister Petro) Lazarenko in a California prison... One such interrogation is not enough for the investigation."

"We need to question Tymoshenko in connection with these cases, Lazarenko, (Lazarenko's former business partner Petro) Kirichenko, and other participants in many questionable operations that are on everyone's lips... Such a request for consideration by the government and competent authorities of the United States exist, just like problems involving provision of such assistance exist, generally speaking," said Kuzmin.

According to him, the Prosecutor-General's Office has been discussing the date of interrogation of Lazarenko with representatives of the American authorities for the past one year but a final date has not yet been set.

Kuzmin expressed the hope that the United States will assist Ukrainian law enforcement authorities in investigating the criminal cases that were filed against Tymoshenko in connection with her activities as the head of the UESU.

Kirichenko was a business partner of Lazarenko in the 1990s.

However, during the trial of Lazarenko in the United States, Kirichenko, who was also accused of money laundering, pleaded guilty and became the main prosecution witness against former prime minister in exchange for his freedom.

In September this year, prosecutors from the Prosecutor-General's Office detained Kirichenko's wife Isabella, who was in Kiev ostensibly to sell her husband's Kiev apartment.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, on October 20, the Prosecutor-General's Office canceled its resolution on closure of the criminal case that was filed against Tymoshenko on suspicion of stealing UAH 25 million ($3.1 million) in state budget funds and tax evasion of more than UAH 20 million ($2.5 million) in taxes during settlements for natural gas by UESU.

Source: Interfax