Governor Arrested In Florida

A former Ukrainian governor accused of extortion and abuse of power in the country's tumultuous 2004 election was arrested in Florida on an immigration violation.

Volodymyr Shcherban, 55, entered the United States in April and was detained Wednesday - four days after his stay had legally lapsed, according to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Though the United States has no extradition treaty with Ukraine, officials from both countries said they had already begun the deportation process.

Besides allegedly corrupting the election, the U.S. State Department says Shcherban is also responsible for a 2004 attack on students protesting the merger of three colleges in Sumy, where he was governor. Opposition witnesses reported protesters being pushed to the ground, beaten and dragged at least 20 feet.

Shcherban ran the regional government until January, when President Viktor Yushchenko assumed office and fired several high-ranking regional officials.

Shcherban had previously been a supporter of Yushchenko, who was an opposition leader before he won last year's bitterly contested presidential race. But in 2002, Shcherban fell out with Yushchenko's camp and joined the People's Choice party, which was allied with ex-President Leonid Kuchma.

Others also face charges for alleged misconduct in office.


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