MOSCOW, January 30 - RAPSI. Former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, who has been charged with abuse of power in Ukraine, has sued Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and his subordinates in a U.S. court, according to the complaint made available to the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
Lutsenko was arrested in late 2010 on charges of misappropriating state funds and abusing power. His motions for release have so far been turned down. His trial opened on May 23.
In his action brought with the District Court for the District of Columbia, Lutsenko alleges that his prosecution is false and politically motivated and claims moral damages without mentioning the exact amount. He referred to the Alien Tort Statute which grants aliens the right to seek recourse and judicial relief in the U.S. courts for violations of international law committed abroad.
Lutsenko accused the defendants of breaching the inviolability of his person through his arbitrary arrest and unreasonably prolonged detention. He also accused them of inhumane treatment.
Lutsenko's representatives say their client is treated "as if he were Public Enemy No. 1,'" although all the acts he is charged with are non-violent.
"The conditions Lutsenko has been subjected to are so barbaric, cruel, inhumane and degrading that if an animal was caged under similar circumstances, rather than a human being, those responsible for such treatment would be subject to criminal prosecution for cruelty to animals," his attorneys emphasize.
In addition to the prosecutor general, the defendants also include his first deputy Rinat Kuzmin, and officials Sergei Voychenko and Anton Zinchenko.
RAPSI has yet to reach the parties for comments.
Lutsenko was accused of employing his personal driver at the ministry and providing him with an apartment and a pension. He is also blamed for overspending on Police Day celebrations.
Investigators estimate the damages inflicted by Lutsenko on the state at 1 million gryvnias ($125,000).