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Prominent Ukrainian Politician Released On Bail In Corruption Probe

Former lawmaker Mykola Martynenko speaks during a court hearing in Kyiv on April 21.

KYIV -- A Kyiv court has released on bail an influential former lawmaker suspected of embezzlement.

The April 22 ruling follows the detention two days earlier of Mykola Martynenko, an ally of former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, after the National Anticorruption Bureau announced it was preparing to file charges against him.

Investigators had sought a court order to place Martynenko, a former chairman of the Ukrainian parliament's fuel and energy committee, in pretrial custody.

But the district court judge hearing the matter ruled in favor of Martynenko's release on bail.

The court said senior officials and several members of parliament had pledged to ensure that Martynenko would comply with his obligations as a suspect in the case.

The court also ordered Martynenko to remain in Kyiv.

Martynenko is the second prominent political figure to have been detained in less than three months in Ukraine, whose government has faced pressure from its own citizens, Western governments, and the International Monetary Fund to crack down on corruption.

With reporting by AP