16:53 12.06.2013

Energoatom chief Kim overstepped his powers when signing contract, failed to show up for questioning, says interior minister

Acting President of National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom Vissarion Kim overstepped his authority by signing a contract for a sum that exceeded the ceiling amount, and also failed to show up for questioning on this matter, Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko said.

"When serving as head [of Energoatom], Kim had no right to sign contracts worth more than a certain amount. He signed [a document] for a sum that was higher than he had the right to sign for. For instance he could approve UAH 500,000, but he approved a larger amount. There was an appeal to law-enforcement agencies, criminal proceedings were launched, and he was summoned several times, but he failed to come," Zakharchenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday, adding that he was speaking about events from 2008.

The minister said that after Kim failed to attend questioning, the supervising prosecutor ordered that he be brought to court, the police took him there and the judge decided to release him on bail and temporarily suspend him from office. According to Zakharchenko, the Interior Ministry is in charge of the investigation into the criminal case, whereas the Prosecutor's Office oversees the inquiry.

The minister also said that he was not ready to say when the investigation would be over.

The agency also learned at the ministry's public relations department that criminal proceedings were brought under Part 3 of Article 365 of the Criminal Code (abuse of power).

On June 11, Acting President of National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom Vissarion Kim was suspended from office under a court ruling.

Acting Spokesperson for the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Serhiy Burlakov told Interfax-Ukraine that Kim was notified of being suspected of abuse of office.

Energoatom told Interfax-Ukraine that the company's first vice-president and technical director, Oleksandr Shavlakov, was temporarily fulfilling the duties of the company's head.

Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavytsky told reporters on Monday that the question of the Energoatom chief could be considered at a government meeting on Wednesday, June 12.

"He has not resigned. There is a working issue there. There will be complete clarity on Wednesday," he said.

Kim was appointed acting head of Energoatom under Cabinet of Ministers resolution No. 575-r of August 20, 2012.

Energoatom operates all four of the nuclear power stations in Ukraine, which together have fifteen generating units outfitted with water-cooled fast-breeder reactors with an installed generating capacity of 13.835 gigawatts.

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