Onyschenko as criminal group organizer may destroy evidence, influence witnesses – prosecutors
Verkhovna Rada deputy Oleksandr Onyschenko, a member of the People's Will deputy group, may exert influence on his subordinates and destroy documents and evidence. These are the arguments made by Head of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (PGO) Yuriy Lutsenko and Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytsky for parliament deputies to support a measure that would strip him of immunity from prosecution and permit his arrest.
During a discussion held on Wednesday in Kyiv at a meeting of the parliament's rules committee about parliament granting permission to indict Onyschenko and remand him to pre-trial confinement. Kholodnytsky said Onyschenko could attempt to hamper the investigation if he remains at large. According to him, Onyschenko may use his deputy status to weigh in on the case, destroy documentary evidence and influence witnesses in the case.
"According to investigatory measures taken, including undercover work, and taking into consideration that several witnesses have been threatened, as well as Onyschenko's financial resources and experience with other parliament deputies who were indicted, we understand the likelihood that he will attempt to avoid criminal liability," Kholodnytsky said.
PGO Head Lutsenko said, "I would ask the Verkhovna Rada only to authorize us to bring him to justice."
Lutsenko said that inasmuch as Onyschenko is charged under Article 255 of Ukraine Criminal Code (creating a criminal organization), he "as the leader and organizer of this group" may try to influence his subordinates." Lutsenko said isolating Onyschenko will help facilitate the effective investigation of the criminal activities alleged to have been committed.