The Court of Appeals in Kiev upheld on Wednesday the conviction of jailed former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko.
In February, Ukraine’s Pechersky Court sentenced Lutsenko, an ally of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, to four years in prison for abuse of office. The former minister has denied any wrongdoing, saying his trial was politically motivated. The Ukrainian authorities have rejected the allegation.
Lutsenko, who was arrested in December 2010, submitted an appeal against his sentence with the Kiev Court of Appeals on March 7.
He was found guilty of illegally employing and giving an apartment and pension to his former driver as well as of overspending government funds during Police Day celebrations in 2008 and 2009, when he was in office. The total damages caused by Lutsenko to Ukraine’s budget is estimated at $125,000.
Ukrainian opposition supporters view his prosecution as a continuation of President Victor Yanukovych’s crackdown on his political opponents.