Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko is being investigated on suspicion of abuse of power, Ukrayinska Pravda has reported, citing a response to an inquiry it received from the National Anti Corruption Bureau (NABU).
The October 16 report said that the criminal investigation was opened in mid August, when he was still prosecutor general and after a Kyiv court ruling earlier that month compelled the NABU to launch a probe.
Lutsenko, 54, was the country’s top prosecutor from May 2016 until August 29.
During his tenure he oversaw an investigation into an energy firm on whose board former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter had sat.
Lutsenko during this time also made unsubstantiated claims attacking then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s work record.
While Lutsenko closed the investigation into gas company Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevskiy, in 2017, this year he met with President Donald Trump’s confidante, Rudy Giuliani, to discuss the case.
The Lutsenko Giuliani meetings were referenced in a government whistle blower’s complaint that was unsealed in August in which Trump is alleged to have prodded Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens.
That complaint, along with a rough transcript of a July 25 Trump Zelenskiy phone call, prompted the House of Representatives to open an impeachment inquiry into the president.
In April May, Lutsenko backtracked on his claims about Yovanovitch and said he found no evidence of malfeasance on the part of Hunter and Joe Biden, the latter of whom played a part in getting Lutsenko’s predecessor ousted for foot dragging on corruption cases.
“Hunter Biden cannot be responsible for violations of the management of Burisma that took place two years before his arrival,” Lutsenko told The Washington Post.
Lutsenko initially in March told a conservative columnist at The Hill newspaper that at their first meeting in 2017, Yovanovitch had given him a “do not prosecute list” that he acknowledged a month later was not accurate.
Speaking of their meeting to online publication The Babel, Lutsenko said that “the meeting ended…I’m afraid the emotions were not very good.”
Yovanovitch on October 11 told a Congressional panel conducting the impeachment probe that Trump sought her removal as ambassador because of “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.