Ukraine’s newly appointed Prosecutor-General, Mikhaylo Potebenko, announced yesterday that the criminal investigation against former Prime Minister, now Hromada leader, Pavlo Lazarenko, is being energized. The investigative unit is receiving additional personnel and has been instructed to show results within three months. The investigation, Potebenko remarked, has been trailing even though “Ukrainian society is keenly interested in the Lazarenko affair.” He warned that former or current members of that unit would be prosecuted if they compromised themselves in the course of the investigation. (Ukrainian agencies, July 30)
President Leonid Kuchma ousted Lazarenko from the post of prime minister last year and initiated criminal proceedings against him on corruption charges. Lazarenko was able to keep his elective post as chairman of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Council. His Hromada Union holds forty-four seats in the country’s new parliament and has made a tactical alliance with the Red parties, enabling them to dominate the legislature. Almost all of Hromada’s deputies owe their seats to Lazarenko’s electoral machine in the populous Dnipropetrovsk region.
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