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Ukrainian Police Question Oligarch

27 September 2005 -- Ukrainian police have launched an offensive against individuals linked to the administration of former President Leonid Kuchma.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Inna Kisel said police questioned today coal and steel magnate Rynat Akhmetov as a witness in several criminal cases. No details were available on what the cases were about.

Akhmetov, believed to be the wealthiest man in Ukraine, and his businesses have faced increasing pressure since Viktor Yushchenko became president in January and began a government crackdown on business deals dating back to former President Leonid Kuchma's administration.

Meanwhile, Viktor Yanukovych, who Yushchenko defeated in last year's presidential election, said he was summoned for questioning to the Prosecutor-General's Office on 29 September.

He had been questioned several times previously on suspicion of misuse of state funds.

Also today, police summoned Kuchma's onetime administration chief, Viktor Medvedchuk, as part of an investigation into the awarding of medals and state honors to the former president's alleged cronies. He now heads the opposition Social Democratic Party-United.


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