14 May 2019 18:04

Ukrainian MP Leshchenko may be prosecuted in case dealing with meddling in U.S. elections - Ukrainian prosecutor general

KYIV. May 14 (Interfax) - Serhiy Leshchenko, an unaffiliated member of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, will be summoned to the Prosecutor General's Office and is likely to be notified of being suspected of committing a crime, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said.

"Our investigation is independent, non-politicized, and impartial," Lutsenko said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels on Tuesday.

"The investigation will summon people's deputy Leshchenko and question him, and he will perhaps be served with a warrant as one being suspected of divulging pretrial investigation findings concerning the Party of Regions' so-called slush fund, which led to interference in American elections from Ukrainian territory," he said.

Journalists cannot be held liable for divulging such information, but Leshchenko was a parliamentarian at the time, he said.

"But Mr. Leshchenko will certainly be held [liable] as a people's deputy. Either he will say who leaked this information to him, or he will be held accountable on his own," Lutsenko said.

He also apologized for Leshchenko's remarks regarding U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani.

"I think statements by Leshchenko as a private citizen indicate his personal attitude and cannot influence relations between our countries. I would like to offer apologies to Mr. Giuliani for judgments that Leshchenko has allowed himself in relation to Mr. Giuliani publicly, and especially not publicly," Lutsenko said. "I do expect Mr. Giuliani to come to Ukraine soon and meet with those officials he sees fit to meet. If necessary, me as well," he said.

Lutsenko said Giuliani had called him the next morning after cancelling his trip to Kyiv, was emotional and insisted that "this is not about an issue between Giuliani and Leshchenko but between Ukraine and the U.S."

Speaking about the reasons for which Giuliani cancelled his trip to Ukraine, Lutsenko said he could not publicly say everything, "but the matter is not about a routine cancellation of a U.S. lawyer's visit."

The people who meddled in the U.S. presidential elections from Ukrainian territory were U.S. citizens, he said.

"I deny Ukrainian interference. My opinion is that interference in the American elections was committed from Ukrainian territory by citizens of the United States of America, who occupied certain positions in our territory," he said.

These individuals engaged Ukrainian citizens "favored by the United States embassy" in a campaign to discredit one of the U.S. presidential candidates, he said.

At the same time, it is U.S. law enforcement agencies that are to qualify such activities in legal terms, Lutsenko said.