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Ukrainian Ex-Minister's Wife Not Allowed To See Jailed Husband Before Surgery

Iryna Lutsenko, who was recently elected to parliament, appears at RFE/RL's Kyiv bureau.
KYIV -- The wife of Ukraine's former interior minister says she was not allowed to see her jailed husband before he underwent surgery.

Iryna Lutsenko told RFE/RL that her husband, Yuriy Lutsenko, was transferred from a labor camp in the northern town of Mena to Kyiv on January 20.

He was scheduled to undergo surgery to remove a growth in his intestines on January 21.

Iryna Lutsenko, who is also her husband's lawyer, said Penitentiary Service officials told her that the law bans any visits to convicts who undergo medical treatment.

Lutsenko is serving a four-year prison term for embezzlement, abuse of office, and ordering illegal surveillance of suspects while investigating the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko before his victory in the 2004 presidential campaign.

Lutsenko denies any wrongdoing, saying his imprisonment is politically motivated.