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21 Feb, 2008 03:24

Ukrainian police boss fired for giving politician the finger

A road-rage incident in Ukraine could see heads roll among the country's top brass. The Parliament Speaker claims the owner of a Porsche made an obscene gesture to him while driving in Kiev. The mystery driver was tracked down – and found in th

The Speaker of Ukraine's Parliament, Arseny Yatsenyuk, was on his way to work when an off-roader apparently got in front of him and blocked his way. The cars then drove side by side when the window of a Porsche Cayennes came down, the hand came out and the speaker was shown the middle finger.

The politician asked the police to track the man down but they failed. So he launched his own investigation with a surprising result.

“Do you know who the driver was? The Deputy Head of Ukraine's Road Police Task Force Cobra. A Lieutenant-Colonel. He has three cars: a Porshce Cayenne, worth $US 200,000, a Land Cruiser, worth more than $US 100,000, and a Mitsubishi,” Arseny Yatsenyuk explained.

President Yushchenko and the speaker arrived at an official meeting attended by senior road traffic police – heads were about to roll.

“The Head of Ukraine's road traffic police, his deputy in charge of Cobra, its head and the officer in question are to file their resignations. No one gave you authority to behave like that,” President Yushchenko said.

Ukraine’s chief road traffic policeman has now been removed from duty along with his two deputies.

 Ukrainians probably won't be too surprised by these events. Three years ago the president abolished the old road-traffic police force as part of anti-corruption campaign.