Infrastructure minister hopes possible accusations to be lifted after investigation by NABU
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has expressed hope that after an investigation into his activities by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) all assumptions and accusations would be lifted.
He said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday that around five criminal cases related to abuse of power in the Ukrainian infrastructure sector, including two cases against top officials and multibillion embezzlements are being investigated by the NABU.
He said that many investigations were initiated thanks to requests of the Infrastructure Ministry and on the basis of the ministry's documents, as the ministry is actively working with the NABU since the moment of its creation.
"The only case concerning me is fact-finding regarding my dwelling was taken first. Maybe it was the simplest, and I hope that we will quickly find the answer to all questions the detectives have. I will recall that the issue of residence of the infrastructure minister was raised in mass media. I gave all the explanations to journalists. I hope that we will be able jointly with the NABU to finish this case and say that all the suspicions and any assumptions are lifted," he said.
As reported, NABU detectives conducted investigative actions on November 3 as part of a pretrial investigation into possible illegal enrichment and possible declaration of unreliable data by Omelyan. It was reported that the investigation is underway.
During the pretrial investigation, the NABU established that starting from December 10, 2016, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, his wife and son, lived in a house that since September 27, 2016, has belonged to his wife's first cousin once removed. Approximate value of the house is UAH 7 million.
NABU detectives pointed out that according to the information of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, the wife's cousin once removed doesn't receive the income to afford buying such a house.
Also, during the period from March 23, 2009 to March 23, 2011, the mother of his wife's niece once removed issued an authorization to drive her Lexus RX 350 to Omelyan, "which indicates their confidential relationship."
The NABU also said that on March 29, 2017, the infrastructure minister filed an electronic declaration for 2016 stating that he actually lives in an apartment that belongs to his wife. At the same time, Omelyan did not indicate his right to use the real estate, namely, the home where he lives. NABU says that the information provided by Omelyan in the declaration for 2016 differs from the actual one by UAH 7 million, which is more than 250 subsistence minimums for able-bodied people.
NABU detectives said that a pre-trial investigation established that Omelyan has been using the 2015 BMW X5 car which costs around UAH 1.59 million. The said vehicle belongs to the minister's brother. However, this car, which is used by the minister was not mentioned in his declaration for 2015 and 2016 contrary to Article 46 of the law of Ukraine on the prevention of corruption.
According to NABU, Omelyan put false information in his income declaration, so the latter's actions bear the signs of an offence under Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
In his turn, Omelyan said that there was no false information in his declaration.