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Ex-Ukraine PM Wants U.S. Residence Permit

Pavlo Lazarenko (file photo)
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko has reportedly applied for a U.S. residency permit.

Lazarenko's lawyer, Maryna Dolhopola, said that he "has not applied for political asylum as some Ukrainian media erroneously reported, but only for the right to temporary residence in the United States."

Lazarenko was released from California prison last week after spending eight years in detention for fraud.

Dolhopola said that Lazarenko is currently being held by the U.S. immigration authorities.

Lazarenko's defense team expects a hearing on his residence permit request in two to three weeks.

Ukraine's prosecutor-general said earlier that Lazarenko would be arrested if he returns to Ukraine.

Lazarenko is wanted in Ukraine for alleged money laundering and involvement in several high-profile murders.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and Interfax