REUTERS

Yuriy Kolesnikov, a lawyer of businessman Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, who was a close ally of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, has denied information reported by the Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda that his client allegedly has to do with the money Latvia seized and credited to its budget.

The lawyer made the comment with regard to an article published by Ukrayinska Pravda on February 18, which, citing sources in certain law enforcement agencies, claimed that US$30 million seized in Latvia belongs to Ivanyushchenko.

"That's not the first time when Ukrayinska Pravda published the fake about US$30 million. We've repeatedly denied Yuriy Ivanyushchenko's involvement in the case. But smear campaigns against Ivanyushchenko in this regard don't stop. I know that this was done to put pressure on the Ukrainian courts handling other cases. But despite this, we have won in all the instances. The courts confirmed the accusations against Ivanyushchenko were groundless," he said.

Kolesnikov also stressed that the information pressure on his client had been going on for more than a year, but Ukrainian investigators have failed to provide any evidence against the businessman, while all personal sanctions against Ivanyushchenko have been lifted in the European Union.

"If the European Union has lifted sanctions against Ivanyushchenko, he is 'clean.' If this were not the case, no sanctions would have been lifted," the lawyer added.

Kolesnikov reiterated he would seek retraction of the false report.

"The information is false, and we'll definitely have to react to this smear campaign against our client. I call on Ukrayinska Pravda to retract that fake, otherwise we'll have to go to court," he said.

The lawyer said he did not take part in the court hearings in Latvia, although he has been providing legal services to Ivanyushchenko for many years and is aware of all his lawsuits.