Ivan Rizak, ex-governor of the Trans-Carpathian Region of Ukraine, was released from custody on Tuesday night. His release was preceded by a scandal in the Supreme Rada (parliament) the day before, where the opposition blocked the rostrum, demanding the release of the ex-governor.
Rizak was released on bail amounting to 500,000 grivnas (100,000 dollars), MP Igor Shurma told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. According to his information, the regional prosecutor’s office did not have anything else to do, because four members of parliament from the parliamentary faction of the Social Democratic (united) Party declared a hunger strike in the office of the public prosecutor.
Ivan Rizak, ex-governor of the Trans-Carpathian Region and head of the regional branch of the Social Democratic (united) Party, was arrested right in a hospital last May. He was accused of bringing about the suicide of Vladimir Slivka, rector of Uzhgorod University, whose dead body had been found in May 2004 with his veins cut and with a knife wound in the heart. In addition to that, Rizak was accused of the organisation of massive unrest, of the abuse of office during the 2004 presidential elections and of the extortion of a bribe. He is facing the prospect of 12 years of imprisonment.
The Social Democratic (united) Party described Rizak as a political prisoner and urged the Council of Europe to send a human rights commission to Ukraine.