18:56 08.12.2017

Urgent searches in Ukrainian Justice Ministry, official's house were legal, prevented document destruction

Urgent searches in Ukrainian Justice Ministry, official's house were legal, prevented document destruction

Detectives from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) conducted urgent investigative procedures (searches) at the office of a Justice Ministry official and at her home address after receiving a tip-off about the risk of a number of documents being destroyed, the Bureau said.

"The urgency of the investigative procedure was down to the operative information about the risk of destruction of documents which the Justice Ministry was to submit as part of a criminal investigation conducted by NABU detectives... The search confirmed this information, and the remaining documents were seized. The investigative procedure was carried out under Article 233 part 3 of the Ukrainian Criminal Proceedings Code with the aim of saving documentation which could be used as evidence," NABU said in a statement on Friday.

Access to said papers was sanctioned by Kyiv's Solomiansky district court on November 23, 2017, when the judge ordered the Justice Ministry to provide the Bureau with requested information. "However, on the evening of December 7 detectives received operative information that some of the requested documents were being destroyed," the spokesperson said.

Furthermore, on December 8 NABU detectives carried out sanctioned searches at the house of a justice official and seized documents "which the Justice Ministry was to submit with the NABU as per the court order."

"So, instead of making emotional claims the Justice Ministry should have found out why the official documents, which it was to submit with the NABU as per the court order, had ended up at the official's house," the bureau said.

The searches were legal, justified and cleared with specialist anti-corruption prosecutors, NABU said.

"Currently, NABU detectives have turned to a court to sanction the seizure of the evidence found during the searches. NABU detectives have been conducting a criminal inquiry since June 2017. Preliminary legal classification: Article 28 part 2 (commission of a crime by a group of individuals, a group of accomplices, an organized group, or a criminal organization), Article 364 part 2 (abuse of power or office) of the Ukrainian Criminal Code," the bureau said.

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