Kiev, April 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A court in Ukraine Thursday sentenced a former defence minister to five years in jail for abuse of office.
Valeriy Ivashchenko, who served in then prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's government from June 2009 to March 2010, was arrested in August 2010 over his involvement in the illegal privatisation of a ship-building plant in Feodosiya, which caused an estimated $8.8 million in damages to Ukraine's budget.
The former minister, who has denied any wrongdoing, said he considered his case "fabricated" and the court ruling "unfair".
He claimed his prosecution had been initiated by "influential people" whom he helped remove from the defence ministry back in 2009.
Ivashchenko's wife told journalists she believed her husband's sentence was "revenge by one of the deputy defence ministers" who acted in cooperation with one of the prosecutor general's deputies.
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