11:44 20.03.2019

BPP says Tymoshenko's lobbyists tried to wreck Lazarenko's settlement in U.S.

3 min read
BPP says Tymoshenko's lobbyists tried to wreck Lazarenko's settlement in U.S.

Head of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko Artur Herasymov has said lobbyists for Batkivschyna Party leader and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko attempted to break ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko's settlement agreement with U.S. justice officials.

"Over the past few months, Tymoshenko's lawyers and lobbyists have done everything to thwart Lazarenko's settlement with U.S. Justice Department officials and delay the return of those millions of dollars to Ukraine," he told reporters in Ukraine's parliament in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Herasymov refuted the statement of Tymoshenko that Ukrainian law enforcement authorities are trying to compromise her in case against Lazarenko.

"I think many of you have already read Tymoshenko's statements about attempts to find compromising material on her from Lazarenko's entourage. I would like to say that there is no need to extort compromising evidence from Lazarenko about Tymoshenko. Most of the corrupt funds frozen and arrested by U.S. officials are either bribes which Tymoshenko paid Lazarenko or the result of the corrupt business activities of Tymoshenko and Lazrenko," he said.

"For example, $86 million was received from the company Somali Enterprises, which at that time Tymoshenko owned. This accounts for more than a third of all funds arrested by American law enforcement officers.

"Ukraine's law enforcement system did everything to ensure that this money is returned to Ukraine as soon as possible and used for the needs of the Ukrainian army, assistance to pensioners and low-income people," Herasymov said.

Earlier, Tymoshenko in an interview with U.S.-government funded Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe network said Ukrainian prosecutors are trying to find compromising materials against involving Lazarenko.

"Through [Ukraine's] Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), which is headed by the incumbent Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief's godfather, they are now trying to break down these cases there ... in the United States. They are trying to break the people around Lazarenko, break the people who are involved in these matters to get some compromising information about me," she said.

Lazarenko was accused of laundering money obtained by illegal means and transferred to foreign accounts in 1994-1999. In August 2006, he was sentenced by a California court to nine years in prison for money laundering and other crimes.

Lazarenko was released from prison on November 1, 2012 after spending 10 years in jail. Ukrainian prosecutors have said he will be arrested if he returns to Ukraine. Lawyers for the ex-prime minister say he has been charged in Ukraine for dozens of alleged crimes, including bribery, misappropriation of funds, abuse of office, etc.

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