NABU calls SAPO decision to quash 'backpack case' incomprehensible
The decision of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) to close criminal proceedings against two suspects in the so-called "backpack case" - the son of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Oleksandr Avakov, and ex-Deputy Interior Minister Serhiy Chebotar - is incomprehensible, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has said.
"According to the report of the NABU detective, on the evening of July 11 he was called by SAPO official Vasyl Krychun, who informed him of the decision to close the criminal proceedings against the suspects," NABU said on Thursday.
"SAPO's decision is incomprehensible and inconsistent, because in April 2018 NABU detectives together with the SAPO prosecutors decided that all the evidence had been gathered. Case materials were opened for the defense to familiarize themselves with. After that, at the request of prosecutors, detectives prepared a voluminous register entry and an indictment against all three suspects, which are needed only if the case would be referred to court," NABU said.
SAPO said its representative would speak on the matter at 16.00 on Thursday, July 2018.
As earlier reported, NABU reported suspects in 'backpack case' caused UAH 14.5 million worth of damage to the state budget.
According to investigators, in 2015, the suspects organized the purchase of backpacks for the Interior Ministry without any need, at a price much higher than the average market price. The goods were not delivered on time and did not meet the requirements established by the Interior Ministry, which was confirmed by the conclusions of a merchandising examination.
NABU detectives established that the winning firm, which was supposed to deliver 5,000 rucksacks under the terms of purchase in the spring of 2015 and which conducted no economic activity in 2014, did not have either equipment or workers. In the future, the funds it received on its accounts from the Interior Ministry were converted into cash through a number of fictitious enterprises.