USA Court Dismisses Lutsenko's Suit On Invalidation Of His Arrest

KIEV, Ukraine -- The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Internal Affairs Minister Yurii Lutsenko, in which he demanded to invalidate his arrest, Ukrainian News has learned from a copy of the Court order.

Former Internal Affairs Minister Yurii Lutsenko

United States District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly made this decision on February 23.

"Accordingly... hereby ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. SO ORDERED. This is a final, appealable Order," it said.

Plaintiff Yuriy Lutsenko commenced this action on December 15, 2011, naming as Defendants a series of individuals who appear to reside in Ukraine, the Order reads.

While a plaintiff ordinarily has 120 days after the filing of the complaint to effect service upon a defendant, that time limit does not apply to service in a foreign country.

Nonetheless, in order to ensure that service in this action was made in a prompt, fair, and efficacious manner, this Court ordered Lutsenko to file a Status Report with the Court describing his efforts to date to effect service of process upon Defendants and outlining his plan for effecting service upon any Defendant that has not been served.

Lutsenko's Status Report was due by no later than February 8, 2012.

When this deadline came and passed without Lutsenko filing the required Status Report or seeking an extension of his time to do so, the Court warned Lutsenko that district courts have the authority to dismiss a case or impose other appropriate sanctions for a plaintiff's failure to prosecute or otherwise comply with a court order.

Despite the availability of these measures, the Court generously exercised its discretion to afford Lutsenko a final opportunity to come into compliance.

Specifically, the Court afforded Lutsenko until and including February 22, 2012 to file the required Status Report or to show cause why this action should not be dismissed without prejudice or other sanctions imposed upon him and/or his counsel.

In addition, the Court expressly warned Lutsenko that if he fails to respond altogether, the Court shall assume that he no longer intends to prosecute this action.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Lutsenko applied a law court in USA to rule his arrest illegal.

The ex-minister has been under arrest since December 26, 2010.

Lutsenko is accused illegally allocating an apartment to his driver Leonid Prystupliuk and illegally awarding a pension to him when Lutsenko was the country's minister of internal affairs, as well as granting permission for illegal surveillance of Valentyn Davydenko (the driver of the Security Service of Ukraine's former head Volodymyr Satsiuk) as part of a criminal investigation into the poisoning of presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko.

He is also accused of authorizing celebration of Police Day at the Ukraina Palace in Kiev in 2008 and 2009 in violation of a ban on allocation of funds for financing celebratory events.

Source: Ukrainian News