Ukraine sacks prosecutor as protest killings probe stalls

10th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Ukraine on Tuesday replaced its chief prosecutor, criticised over the stalled probe into the killing of more than 100 demonstrators during protests in Kiev last February.

Lawmakers voted to dismiss Vitaliy Yarema after failing to prosecute anyone from the regime of former president Viktor Yanukovych for the fatal shooting of protesters on Kiev's iconic Independence Square.

Yarema -- a former deputy prime minister -- also failed to change the prosecutor's office image as one of the most corrupt institutions in Ukraine's notoriously venal bureaucracy.

Yarema was appointed to the post in June by pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko, who described his nomination as a "dark day for crime in Ukraine."

Yarema has been replaced by Viktor Shokin, who served twice as deputy public prosecutor between 2002 and 2007.

Ukraine's economy is teetering on the verge of total collapse, with Kiev waiting for the International Monetary Fund to expand a $17 billion bailout plan.

Any increase in financial aid would require radical reforms, including moves to slash corruption and red tape.


© 2015 AFP

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