18:45 26.07.2018

Ex-Ukrspecexport head Bondarchuk granted political asylum in U.K

2 min read
Ex-Ukrspecexport head Bondarchuk granted political asylum in U.K

Ex-head of state-run Ukrspecexport Serhiy Bondarchuk, who is accused of large-scale embezzlement in Ukraine, has received political asylum in the United Kindom, Ukraine's Deputy Prosecutor General Evhen Yenin has said.

"The hero of Ukraine was afraid to appear before Ukrainian justice for his corruption crimes ... and asked for political asylum in Britain. It's a pity that the British court granted him refuge, despite the efforts of Ukrainian and British prosecutors," Yenin said on his Facebook page on Thursday. He added that Bondarchuk's case is "an annoying exception, but not the rule."

As earlier reported, Bonadrchuk in March 2017 was released in London on bail. PGO spokeswoman Larysa Sarhan said court hearings on his extradition were scheduled for March 24.

On January 21, 2015, the chief military prosecutor's office said that Bondarchuk was suspected of embezzling $7.428 million from the state-run company. He is suspected under Part 5 of Article 191 (gross embezzlement via abuse of office under a preliminary collusion by a group of persons) and Part 2 of Article 366 (fabrication caused serious consequences) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

On January 29 the investigating magistrate of Pechersky district court of Kyiv permitted to detain the former head of Ukrspecexport and sent him to court to decide on his arrest.

The court also arrested assets of the suspect - $10 million at one of the Ukrainian banks and two Range Rover cars worth over UAH 2 million.

In February 2015 the Interior Ministry of Ukraine put Bondarchuk on the wanted list.

Interpol placed former head of Ukrspecexport Serhiy Bondarchuk on the international wanted list on June 15, 2015.

Bondarchuk headed Ukrspecexport from March 2005 through June 2010 and signed the largest arms deals in Ukraine's history with China, India, Thailand and Iraq.

Ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in February 2010 awarded Bondarchuk the "Hero of Ukraine" medal for outstanding services to the state in the development of Ukraine's Armed Forces.

From 2010 Bondarchuk was a member and later head of the political council of Yushchenko's Nasha Ukraina (Our Ukraine) Party.

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