17:41 08.02.2018

Onyschenko case to be heard in line with procedure of conviction in absentia – SAPO chief

Onyschenko case to be heard in line with procedure of conviction in absentia – SAPO chief

 The trial in the case of Ukraine's fugitive MP Oleksandr Onyschenko will be held according to the procedure of conviction in absentia, but the MP should return to Ukraine, Chief of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) Nazar Kholodnytsky has said.

"We have now completed the case. We will begin the conviction in absentia, the process of absentee hearing of this proceeding. I still recommend that Mr. Onyschenko come to Ukraine, as he said back in 2016, that he is not going to escape anywhere," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

When asked whether Onyschenko was questioned when he was in Ukraine, Kholodnytsky said: "I did not question him. He was interrogated by investigators, detectives and law enforcers who investigated this case."

Onyschenko is suspected of organizing a scheme to steal funds from the extraction and sale of natural gas under agreements with public joint-stock company Ukrgazvydobuvannia. The scheme resulted in losses to the government of about UAH 3 billion. The SBU also announced the beginning of a pre-trial investigation against Onyschenko on the grounds of high treason.

On July 5, 2016, the Verkhovna Rada gave consent to bringing him to justice, detention and arrest. However, on the eve of voting, using his status as a people's deputy, Onyschenko fled the state.

He was placed on the national wanted list on August 8, 2016.

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