10:42 02.12.2014

Court orders Kyiv prosecutors to bring action against NBU Governor Gontareva – media reports

A Kyiv-based court has instructed Kyiv prosecutors to bring an action against National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Valeriya Gontareva on charges of abuse of power or misuse of office to obtain illegal profit, the Vesti newspaper reported on Tuesday.

"This decision was taken by Kyiv's Pechersk district court on December 1 after it had examined case No. 757/33660/14 < > It ordered the Kyiv prosecutor's office to launch an investigation and include it in the register of pre-trial investigations," the newspaper reported.

Gontareva is charged with abuse of power or misuse of office under Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The plaintiff is lawyer Rostyslav Kravets, the newspaper said. He confirmed this information in his post on Facebook, saying that the decision was taken by the court at the third attempt, and in November 2014, the prosecutors declined to bring an action to meet his claim.

The same lawyer is challenging the NBU's regulations of Crimean financial institutions in court.

The charges against the chief banker involve foreign currency interventions by the Central Bank in August 2014: On August 5 the NBU bought U.S. dollars on the interbank forex market for UAH 11.93 per U.S. dollar and sold them for UAH 12.26 per U.S. dollar. During the same week, on August 8, it traded in foreign currency at a higher rate: UAH 12.45-12.6 per U.S. dollar. First it sold $69 million on the interbank forex market at a lower rate, and some days later it bought $35 million at a more favorable price.

As a result of these transactions, the NBU lost 19 kopecks per U.S. dollar, Kravets said.

Kravets claims that by acting so, Gontareva "has intentionally committed an extremely unfavorable transaction for the gold and forex reserves of Ukraine, despite the fact that under Ukraine's Constitution it is the Central Bank that is in charge of maintaining the country's gold reserves.

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