The FINANCIAL -- Ukraine 's deputy
prosecutor general, a key figure in the legal campaign against jailed
former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said Monday that the United
States had cancelled his five-year entry visa.
Renat Kuzmin wrote a letter to US President Barack Obama complaining about the move, which he said was aimed at obstructing the pursuit of justice in the cases involving Tymoshenko.
Kuzmin said in the letter posted on the general prosecutors' website that US ambassador John Tefft had informed him about the cancellation of his visa without further explanation.
"From my point of view, these actions contravene the international cooperation regulations between our two countries and undermine the authority of the United States," said Kuzmin.
His complaint comes after the United States Senate in September agreed a resolution calling for a visa ban against officials deemed responsible for Tymoshenko's imprisonment.
The spokesman for the US embassy in Ukraine , James Wolfe, confirmed Kuzmin's visa had been cancelled but added that he could not discuss the reasons "due to privacy laws".
Kuzmin may have brought on his visa revocation through his controversial investigation into Tymoshenko, a Western diplomatic source told AFP.
He reportedly travelled to the United States in July to conduct the investigation but did not coordinate his activities with US law enforcement bodies.
That was a "serious breach of protocol", the source said. "Imagine what the Ukrainian reaction would have been,
if Western officials were conducting an investigation in Ukraine without notifying the Ukrainian authorities," the source added.
Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year jail sentence on abuse of power charges that were vehemently condemned by the West. She is also facing another trial on charges of financial crimes.
Kuzmin has been the public face of the pursuit of Tymoshenko, repeatedly defending the authorities' position in newspaper and television interviews.
In his letter to Obama, Kuzmin complained of the lack of cooperation from Washington in the investigation over the murder of Ukraine lawmaker Yevgen Shcherban at Donetsk Airport in 1996.
Ukraine prosecutors have said there is evidence to charge Tymoshenko over involvement in the murder although they have yet to officially do so. As EUbusiness announced, Tymoshenko has denied any link to the Shcherban murder.