16:14 08.03.2019

Investigative journalist reports about supplies to Ukroboronprom based on evidence from official investigation

3 min read
Investigative journalist reports about supplies to Ukroboronprom based on evidence from official investigation

 Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has said reports by investigative journalists are based on materials from an official investigation of supplies to state-run Ukroboronprom Concern. He said the investigative reports were published a little ahead of procedural actions by law-enforcers.

"Prior to 2014, journalistic investigations resulted only in fixing facts for future productions after the Revolution [of Dignity] and the emigration of defendants to Russia. Now, high-profile investigative journalism is based on [official] investigation materials and are published a little ahead of procedural actions of law enforcement officers," Lutsenko said on Facebook on Wednesday.

He said the case investigated by the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) in connection with illegal activities of OptimumSpetsdetal LLC, which supplied components to Ukroboronprom, was almost completed. "After receiving the final tax audit report, the company's head was served a notice of suspicion for tax evasion in the amount of UAH 26.6 million. After the examination of [Andriy] Rohoza's messages, other persons involved in the case will be served notices of suspicion," he said.

"In the same case, Ukraine's SBU State Security Service charged Rohoza and two of his accomplices with fraud as early as 2018. This case is being heard at Kyiv's Pechersky District Court. Evaluation of the actions of high-ranking officials, directors of state-owned enterprises and related persons on other, corrupt, charges are the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), which has been investigating the case since 2016," he said.

As reported, on February 25, Nashi.Groshi, a television project of TV Channel 24 aired an investigation produced by Bihus.Info. The program cited electronic correspondence data provided to the journalists by an anonymous source about a corrupt scheme for purchasing military parts for Ukroboronprom as part of the import substitution program during 2015-2017. Parts were smuggled from Russia through bogus firms called prokaldki (gaskets), including OptimumSpetsdetal LLC. According to the report, the total amount for purchases made by Ukroboronprom during the period amounted to UAH 250 million.

The authors of the investigative report said ex-First Deputy Head of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleh Hladkovsky, who was previously a business partner of incumbent Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, ex-head of Ukrspecexport and head of state-owned Ukroboronprom Concern Pavlo Bukin, as well as directors of enterprises and other officials of the state concern are involved in corruption schemes.

Ukroboronprom said the authors of the TV project had manipulatively used classified materials from criminal proceedings initiated by law enforcement in 2015-2016 and said the media scandal involving the concern was another operation of information warfare against Ukraine.

NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov called on anti-corruption agencies to objectively and impartially investigate the facts of the corruption scandals unveiled in the defense sector.

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