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06KIEV1531, UKRAINE: INTERIOR MINISTER ORDERED TO ARREST

April 14, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1531 2006-04-14 14:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
Appears in these articles:
http://rusrep.ru/article/2010/12/04/lutsenko/
VZCZCXRO3836
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DE RUEHKV #1531/01 1041424
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141424Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8846
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 001531 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2016 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINR SOCI UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: INTERIOR MINISTER ORDERED TO ARREST 
TYMOSHENKO LIEUTENANT 

REF: KIEV 1448 

Classified ...
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 001531 SIPDIS SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2016 TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINR SOCI UP
1. (C) Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko told Ambassador on April 14 that he had been ordered by the Prosecutor General (PG) to arrest senior Tymoshenko Bloc politicians Oleksandr Turchynov and Andriy Kozhemyakin for illegally destroying Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) files on the January gas deal with Russia and on organized crime figure Seymon Mogilievich. Turchynov had served as SBU head when Tymoshenko was prime minister (February-September 2005); Kozhemyakin had been Turchynov's deputy in charge of combating corruption and organized crime. A lengthy March 16 Ukrainska Pravda (UP) article, citing sources within the SBU, asserted that Kozhemyakin had signed the destruction order for the Mogilievich files just one day before then-Prime Minister Tymoshenko was sacked (September 8, 2005); the UP article speculated that the files may have been destroyed because they contained evidence of illegal wiretapping against Tymoshenko rivals like Petro Poroshenko and/or evidence of shady business deals between Mogilievich and Tymoshenko when she headed United Energy Systems in the mid-late 1990s. Lutsenko characterized the PG Medvedko's arrest order as "crazy" and clearly instigated by Tymoshenko nemesis and purported Medvedko patron Petro Poroshenko; nonetheless, the Interior Ministry was legally obligated to carry it out. Lutsenko related that his ministry would "go through the motions" but not actually take Turchynov and Kozhemyakin into custody -- an approach personally blessed by President Yushchenko. Echoing comments made to DCM (reftel), Lutsenko warned that it would be dangerous for Turchynov to serve as Interior Minister as part of an Orange coalition deal. Tymoshenko only wanted Turchynov in the ministry to collect damaging information about her enemies, Lutsenko said. End summary.
2. (C) During an April 14 meeting with Ambassador, Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said that on April 12 he had been ordered by Prosecutor General (PG) Oleksandr Medvedko to arrest two senior politicians from the Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT): Oleksandr Turchynov and Andriy Kozhemyakin. Turchynov, number two on the BYuT list, served as Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) when Tymoshenko was prime minister (February to September 2005); Kozhemyakin, number 25 on the BYuT list, served as Turchynov's deputy at the SBU (in charge of combating corruption and organized crime). Lutsenko said that the PG intended to charge the men with illegally destroying SBU documents about Ukraine's January gas deal with Russia and with destroying the SBU's voluminous files on organized crime boss Seymon Mogilievich.
3. (U) On March 16, the popular Internet news site Ukrainska Pravda (UP) reported at length about the destruction of the Mogilievich files. Citing unidentified sources within the SBU, UP asserted that Turchynov ordered the destruction of 13 volumes of material on Mogilievich, dating back to 1993. According to UP, on February 22 the SBU forwarded the results of its internal investigation into the incident to the Prosecutor General's Office; the SBU dossier allegedly included Kozhemyakin's written authorization to destroy the Mogilievich material. The date on the written authorization reportedly is September 7, 2005 -- one day before the dismissal of Tymoshenko's government.
4. (U) The UP article, again citing unidentified sources within the SBU, sketched out three possible reasons for Turchynov's alleged destruction order: -- The files contained evidence that the SBU had illegally wiretapped then-National Security and Defense Council Chief (and Tymoshenko rival) Petro Poroshenko, presidential senior aide Oleksandr Tretyakov, and President Yushchenko's brother, Petro; -- The documents were photocopied before being destroyed, so they can be used in the future to discredit President Yushchenko and other major politicians. (Note: Under Ukrainian law, with the originals destroyed, law enforcement agencies cannot pursue criminal charges for "disclosing investigative sec rets."); and/or, KIEV 00001531 002 OF 002 -- The files contained information about Tymoshenko's cooperation with Mogilievich when she ran United Energy Systems in the mid-late 1990s. 
5. (C) Lutsenko characterized the PG's order to arrest Turchynov and Kozhemyakin as "crazy." However, the Interior Ministry was legally obliged to carry it out. Lutsenko said that his ministry would "go through the motions" but would not actually take the politicians into custody. Lutsenko added that he had called President Yushchenko and explained his planned course of inaction; Yushchenko had agreed. In response to a question from Ambassador, Lutsenko confirmed that the PG had issued the arrest orders at the request of Poroshenko. Lutsenko added that Turchynov "knew about all of this".
6. (C) Shifting gears, Lutsenko repeated what he had told DCM on April 11 (reftel), stressing that it would be dangerous to let Turchynov serve as Interior Minister as part of an Orange coalition agreement. Tymoshenko only wanted to put Turchynov in the ministry so that
 he could collect damaging information about her political enemies, Lutsenko asserted.
7. (C) This incident highlights the extremes to which Poroshenko will go in his rivalry with Tymoshenko. He is clearly sparing no effort to pay her back for publicly tarring him as corrupt during the September 2005 struggle that led to Tymoshenko's ouster as prime minister and Poroshenko's resignation as NSDC Secretary. Lutsenko's concerns about Turchynov as Interior Minister are not farfetched. 8. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website at: www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. Herbst

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