Former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko is convinced the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has reached a deal with the ruling government to cover up his role in the 2009 gas crisis.

"The Prosecutor General’s Office under Yanukovych ‘protection’ gave their ally Yushchenko freedom and the opportunity to mask his role in the 2009 gas catastrophe. While testifying in court yesterday, Yushchenko once against spat on those who made him president," Yuriy Lutsenko said Thursday during his trial, according to the official website of Yulia Tymoshenko.

The ex-minister said that earlier this year he wrote a letter to Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka stating that ex-President Viktor Yushchenko had committed a crime, but has yet to receive a response. "According to the Constitution, the president doesn’t have the right to recall the head of a independent business entity from international negotiations. But Yushchenko did this," sad Yuriy Lutsenko.

"And now Yushchenko is covering up and saying that he never withdrew anyone from the talks, because this was 100 percent abuse of power on his part," said the ex-minister.

He said that during the 2009 gas crisis, Yulia Tymoshenko "was forced to rescue the situation when Yushchenko put Ukraine on the brink of collapse." "Tymoshenko went to the Kremlin to negotiate gas contracts, while Yushchenko went skiing, leaving the country to Tymoshenko at a time when the Kremlin was most furious over the breakdown of gas talks," said the ex-minister, adding that Premier Yulia Tymoshenko acted within her authority in the situation and didn’t break any laws.

In his testimony, Oleh Dubyna, the former head of Naftohaz, said that former President Viktor Yushchenko had instructed him to walk out of the negotiation in Moscow, even though the price that had been agreed was reasonable.

Yesterday, however, when Viktor Yushchenko finally came to court after ignoring numerous summonses, he said that he never recalled the Naftohaz delegation from the negotiations in Russia.

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