Omelyan rejects accusations against him, not going to resign
Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan rejects corruption charges brought against him and says he is not going to resign.
"I categorically refute all the accusations and charges brought against me. I will defend my name, honor and dignity in a legal way, and I will demand that investigators of the National Anti-corruption Bureau (NABU) be brought to justice," Omelyan said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.
"I'd like to say that I am under pressure from the side of NABU heads. I am aware of the facts of political collaboration between NABU's chiefs and Ukrainian politicians," the minister added.
But he says he does not know which law enforcement agency he should appeal with the information he has about this collaboration.
"I just have no clue where I'm supposed to go with those facts. If earlier such facts of cooperation between law enforcement agencies and Ukrainian politicians could be reported to NABU, then whom am I supposed to report about NABU?" Omelyan wondered.
Speaking about his possible resignation, he said he was not going to resign despite the fact that he advocates common practice in Europe that an official should resign if there are suspicions against him or her.
"Frankly speaking, I'm sick and tired of this post. But I firmly believe that as soon as I resign and the Verkhovna Rada accepts [my] resignation, 99% of all public outcries, cases and alike will be discarded... But I am not going to make them happy at this stage," Omelyan said.
The minister noted that the investigation into his case had lasted a year and a half, but no legitimate accusations had been brought against him. In his words, he is ready to repel all NABU charges in court.
He claims NABU was reluctant to consider similar case, but it tackled his case "with all zeal."
As was reported earlier, NABU's press service announced on September 13 that Minister Omelyan had been informed of suspicion of committing criminal offenses under Part 3 of Article 368-2 and Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. In turn, Omelyan says that the case against him is related to the reforms he has been carrying out, as well as to elections looming in the country and a case of ex-Member of Parliament Mykola Martynenko, which is being investigated by NABU for several years.