Prosecutors hinder probe into abuses at PrivatBank
Minister of Finance of Ukraine Oleksandr Danyliuk has accused the Prosecutor General's Office of hindering an investigation into the actions of former managers and owners of PrivatBank, initiating and actively promoting cases against the incumbent officials of the bank, the Finance Ministry and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).
"I demand the resignation of Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko," Danyliuk said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.
Danyliuk said that it was possible to get a positive decision of the London court to freeze the assets of former PrivatBank owners Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov "not thanks to the support of the prosecutor's office, as it should have been, but despite all direct attempts by the Prosecutor General's Office to interfere with this process."
While commenting on his accusations, the minister recalled that the nationalized PrivatBank had initiated the opening of five criminal cases, which are now being investigated by the Prosecutor General's Office, in particular, on bringing the bank to insolvency, illegal withdrawal of funds from the bank in various ways, and improper use of confidential information from the bank's servers.
"However, none of these cases have been submitted to court for consideration, because pre-trial investigations in these proceedings are progressing very slowly, and in some cases, investigative actions are not conducted at all," Danyliuk said.
He said that simultaneously the Prosecutor General's Office had opened a number of criminal cases concerning allegedly illegal actions of the officials of PrivatBank, the Finance Ministry and the National Bank of Ukraine, in which investigative actions are actively conducted.
"Criminal cases are opened and actively investigated over the attraction by the bank of advisers who are involved in documenting the scale and schemes of illegal withdrawal of funds from PrivatBank by the former owners/managers of the bank whose performance will be used in court cases both in Ukrainian and foreign jurisdictions," he added.
He believes that the PrivatBank case is a litmus test of the effectiveness of the work of law enforcement agencies, since the state has already spent almost UAH 140 billion on the bank's additional capitalization due to the fact that earlier money was withdrawn from the bank, or insufficiently secured loans that no one returns were provided.
"In this context, an 'accidental' meeting in Amsterdam between Lutsenko and Kolomoisky just on the eve of the trial in London raises even more questions," Danyliuk said.
In his opinion, the prosecutor general discredited himself by attacks on new anti-corruption bodies and the inability to bring important cases to court.
"Thus, he discredits before the Ukrainian people and international partners the president and the parliament, which have entrusted such an important function to him, as well as the authorities as a whole, and therefore he must resign," Danyliuk said.
Earlier on December 21, Lutsenko spoke about the closure of two criminal proceedings opened under a statement from MP Oleksandr Dubinin from the UKROP party, as well as about the embezzlement of money by officials of the National Bank of Ukraine and PrivatBank. He also denied the opening of such cases against Kroll, a company hired by the NBU, as well as against other foreign advisers and consultants.