Gen­eral blowhard

Kyiv Post - - Opinion -

Pros­e­cu­tor Gen­eral Yuriy Lut­senko on Nov. 6 lam­basted mem­bers of par­lia­ment and civil so­ci­ety who crit­i­cized the law en­force­ment’s weak ef­forts in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the Nov. 4 mur­der of whistle­blower Kateryna Gandz­iuk. Lut­senko ac­cused them of try­ing to steal the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and con­duct it “through tele­vi­sion screens” and of us­ing the Gandz­iuk case for “blood-stained pub­lic­ity stunts.” In fact, Lut­senko was speak­ing about him­self. Over the week that fol­lowed these im­pe­ri­ous state­ments, he has been parad­ing his im­po­tence and in­com­pe­tence on tele­vi­sion. Lut­senko proved he is the one with a knack for blood-stained pub­lic­ity.

He fu­ri­ously slammed those who leaked in­for­ma­tion about Ihor Pavlovsky, who is sus­pected of or­ga­niz­ing Gandz­iuk’s mur­der – and who is an as­sis­tant to Pres­i­dent Poroshenko Bloc law­maker Mykola Pala­marchuk.

The an­gry rant em­pha­sized the hypocrisy of those in power: they lament leaks about pro-govern­ment politi­cians and at the same time leak in­for­ma­tion about their po­lit­i­cal foes. A Ukrainian news site on Nov. 9 pub­lished a leaked phone con­ver­sa­tion in which Lviv Mayor An­driy Sadovy ac­cused Gandz­iuk of cor­rup­tion. Lut­senko later con­firmed that the au­dio was orig­i­nally ob­tained by the Se­cu­rity Ser­vice of Ukraine and shared with his of­fice, but no crim­i­nal case had been opened yet. The le­gal grounds for this are un­clear.

Lut­senko’s col­league, In­te­rior Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov, has been no­tably silent about the Gandz­iuk case. His si­lence is omi­nous, given that Avakov’s al­lies were one of the tar­gets of Gandz­iuk’s crit­i­cism.

The LB.ua on­line news­pa­per on Nov. 13 re­moved an in­crim­i­nat­ing op-ed on Gandz­iuk’s mur­der, which the jour­nal­ists and ac­tivists saw as a sign of pos­si­ble cen­sor­ship by au­thor­i­ties. The news­pa­per put the op-ed back on­line, say­ing the lawyers needed to check it. But in the lat­est ver­sion, some men­tions of Avakov and his no­to­ri­ous ex-aide Ilya Kiva were cut. The LB.ua trade­mark is owned by an ex-board mem­ber at Ferdico, a firm that owns Avakov’s Ital­ian villa. The news­pa­per de­nied links to Avakov, as well as any cen­sor­ship.

We are tired of re­peat­ing that Lut­senko and Avakov must be fired. They should quit to avoid re­peat­ing ex-Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych’s fate.

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