SAPO blames courts for delaying probe against MP Onyschenko and other suspects in 'gas case'

The Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) blames the courts for delaying the consideration of a petition to hold a special pretrial investigation against fugitive MP Oleksandr Onyschenko and blocking the process of his extradition to Ukraine, SAPO's press service has reported.

On November 10, a NABU detective, in agreement with the prosecutor, applied to the investigating judge with a petition to conduct a special pre-trial investigation against suspect Onyschenko and five other people, most of whom, according to investigators, are in Russia.

"At the present time, despite the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, not only the ten-day period for considering the petition has expired, but almost a month has passed. The next hearing of the petition is scheduled for January 16, 2018, that is two months after the detective's appeal to the investigating judge and, as a whole, the period six times longer than the period given by the Criminal Procedure Code for the conduct of this procedural action," the report says.

In this regard, SAPO prosecutors decided to withdraw the abovementioned petition so as to send it to court again.

In addition, prosecutors claimed "systematic sabotage on the part of the judicial system in all episodes of the so-called 'gas business.'"

For example, SAPO said that the court had accepted for consideration a complaint from suspect Onyschenko's lawyer against the actions of the NABU detective regarding the petition for the extradition of the fugitive MP, which was sent by the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine to the competent authorities of the Kingdom of Spain.

"Despite the fact that the request, along with the detective's petition, was sent back in December 2016, only now, when the Spanish courts began considering the issue of Onyschenko's extradition, the lawyer filed a complaint about the actions that are not contested, and the investigating judge, in turn, partially granted the complaint," SAPO said.