KIEV, Oct. 15 – President Viktor Yushchenko said law enforcement organs have been delaying investigation of a pedophile case that now appears may involve a number of influential lawmakers and other officials.
Yushchenko said he had twice addressed Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko over the case since July, seeking to speed up the investigation, but there was little reaction.
“The official information has not been reaching the head of state,” Yushchenko’s office said in a statement posted on the president’s website. “The impression is that somebody has been seeking to hide away real facts and names of those who had participated in these humiliating actions.”
The case, which has been quietly investigated since July, has been gaining momentum after media reports recently suggested that several powerful lawmakers may have been involved.
One of the mentioned lawmakers - Viktor Ukolov, the top presidential campaign strategist of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – on Wednesday resigned from the post and left Kiev for an undisclosed location in rural Ukraine.
Ukolov, who denied any wrongdoing in his blog posting, said he had decided to step down in order to prevent deterioration of Tymoshenko’s reputation ahead of the presidential election in January 2010.
Yushchenko demanded that the Prosecutor General Office must vigorously investigate the case despite “political pressure, blackmail, positions and mandates.”
He also suggested including SBU security service officials into the team investigating the case and gave the prosecutor general 10 days to brief the president on the progress.
Media reports on Thursday revealed the names of another two lawmakers that may have been involved in the case.
The names include Serhiy Teriokhin, a former economy minister and a member of the Tymoshenko Bloc, and Ruslan Bohdan, a wealthy businessman, also a member of the Tymoshenko Bloc.
Both, Teriokhin and Bohdan later denied the reports.
“I will not be commenting on anything,” Bohdan said. “Maybe they will write that I have eaten somebody, or sold the Motherland, or set fire in the Reichstag, or had taken over the Bastille. Let them write.”
Teriokhin said he will seek to sue the mother of the kids that had been allegedly molested for making “untrue” statements by providing his name to the investigators.
“What I want to do is to punish this woman, who has adopted these kids, because she had clearly violated the Criminal Code in the part of providing untrue information to the investigators about my persona,” Teriokhin said. (tl/ez)