The sword is hanging over the head of Defense Minister Yury Yekhanurov, as Premier Tymoshenko said she will complain to the president about grand corruption in the ministry, our Kyiv correspondent reports. Tymoshenko lambasted Yekhanurov at the cabinet session attended by the media.
She will attach reports by auditors to her memo to the incumbent, so that the latter can submit to parliament the minister for dismissal, as the constitution prescribes.
The premier also said she will get in touch with the prosecutor general of Ukraine to make sure the investigation is not quashed. She will also press Prosecutor General Medvedko for a quick investigation. Tymoshenko also told she will demand that Verkhovna Rada set up a commission to investigate charges of corruption and abuse of office.
In a related move, the premier instructed the interior ministry to probe into every charge. The police can transfer investigated cases to court directly, by-passing the prosecution, Tymoshenko said.
Grand corruption in the defense ministry is an abominable fact, and the premier pledged to do everything to bring the perpetrators to account.
At the cabinet meeting May 20, Premier Tymoshenko and DM Yekhanurov engaged in a heated exchange of declarations, The Ukrayinska Pravda reports, with Yekhanurov accusing the premier of unleashing auditors on his ministry and “playing the farce” and Tymoshenko rebuking him for using vernacular and adding that Yakhanurov will soon face the prosecution.Meanwhile, Pres Yushchenko says the whole incident is a foray on Yekhanurov.
He dismissed as groundless the charges against DM Yekhanurov and demands of his dismissal.
Accusations of grand corruption is an attempt by Tymoshenko to cover up the true intentions aimed at destabilizing the political situation in Ukraine, Yushchenko commented.
“I can see no signs of corruption or any wrongdoing which could lead to the minister’s resignation,” Yushchenko claims. Moreover, he praised the ministry’s 3-year track record as stable, given the meager funding the ministry gets from the cabinet.
Yushchenko says the incident is a campaign stunt aimed to destabilize Ukraine.
Given a bitter stand-off in Verkhovna Rada, it will be difficult to reach a compromise over a new defense minister, Yushchenko said. “I warn the premier and parliament against pedaling the situation further as it will lead to a confrontation,” the president said.
Speaking to the press after the cabinet meeting, Yekhanurov promised to reveal many new facts after his dismissal.
However, Yekhanurov told the media he is not going to resign over accusations of the illegal sales of land, The Korrespondent reports.
He said he will submit his report to Yushchenko when the president gets back from Turkey.
The final decision on him, Yekhanurov believes, should be taken by the incumbent who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Yekhanurov describes as “a rehearsal of the presidential campaigning” the cabinet meeting where auditors reports were publicized.
“When I was appointed defense minister, I wrote a report pledging to stop mypolitical activity, and therefore, I cannot comment this incident. I am the defense minister of Ukraine. When I am dismissed, I’ll tell you many things,” he told journalists.