Top prosecutor rejects laxity accusations

17:03, 10 November 2006
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He said Defense Minister`s claims were groundless

Ukraine`s Prosecutor General rejected Friday harsh criticism leveled against him by the defense minister, who accuses him of failing to control corruption in the country, according to RIA Novosti.

      Oleksandr Medvedko said Anatoliy Hrytsenko`s claims were groundless, and dismissed the minister`s demand that he resign.

      The dispute comes in the midst of an ongoing power struggle in the country`s leadership, between supporters of Western-leaning president and those of the pro-Kremlin prime minister.

      Hrytsenko, a supporter of President Viktor Yushchenko, called on Thursday for the immediate dismissal of Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko, a backer of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

      Hrytsenko said the Prosecutor General`s Office has deliberately dragged out case investigations, failed to consider cases submitted by the Defense Ministry, and has failed to launch necessary criminal proceedings.

      However, the chief prosecutor cited statistics demonstrating his agency`s effectiveness in the fight against corruption, and said: "The allegations put forward by Hrytsenko are baseless."

      Hrystenko himself faced pressure Friday, with lawmakers demanding that he and the foreign minister, both Yushchenko appointees, appear before parliament to justify their performances.

      The conflict between the minister and the prosecutor erupted in October when Medvedko called the ministry ineffective in combating crime in the Armed Forces, and accused it of stealing army property.

      Hrystenko in turn criticized the Prosecutor General`s Office for its unprofessional analysis of the situation in the Armed Forces.

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