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Ukraine prosecutor claims he was fired for investigating president's wife

[JURIST] Recently fired Ukrainian Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun is claiming his termination last month was a direct result of an investigation he launched into the expenditures of the wife of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [BBC profile]. Piskun was looking into the costs involved when US-born Kateryna Yushchenko-Chumachenko flew a group of her US relatives to Kiev on a chartered plane for her husband's presidential inauguration earlier this year. Piskun said the bill for the trip totaled £155,000 ($274,217) and he was investigating who funded the costs, implying that there may be some link to a Ukrainian businessman wanted in the US for money laundering. Piskun said, "My dismissal was a direct consequence of my refusal to submit to political pressure." Yushchenko denies Piskun's allegations, saying he was instead fired for his incompetence in failing to finalize a politically-charged investigation into the 2000 killing of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze [JURIST report]. The Independent has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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