Klitschko asks NABU to check Bohdan's statement on alleged bribery
Kyiv Mayor and head of Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA) Vitali Klitschko has asked the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to open criminal proceedings upon a statement made by head of the President's Office Andriy Bohdan who reported an attempt to bribe him.
"Speaking at a press conference on July 30, 2019, Mr. Bohdan told media representatives that, in a conversation, someone tried to offer him a $20 million bribe. And, allegedly, this offer was made in the interests of the Kyiv mayor, that is, in my interests. I did not authorize anyone to conduct such 'negotiations!' And such statements by Mr. Bohdan, who is in charge of the Office of the President of Ukraine, are subject to a pretrial probe as they may indicate the commission of criminal offenses," Klitschko said on Facebook on Thursday.
"If someone did approach anyone, it needs to be found out who, on whose behalf, and with what proposal. And it needs to be found out whether the official received an unlawful benefit as well," he said.
"After that, investigators should either declare certain individuals to be treated as suspects, or I will demand that Mr. Bohdan apologize for spreading mendacious information," he said.
Klitschko said he expected Bohdan to facilitate the investigation, "of course, if the head of the Presidential Office was telling journalists the truth."
The Ukrainian Presidential Office asked the government on Wednesday to submit a formal proposal on relieving Klitschko of his duties as KCSA head.
In turn, Klitschko called the initiative to divide power in the capital and remove him from the post of KCSA head as contrary to the law. He said he intends to defend the current order, according to which the elected mayor of the capital is automatically appointed head of the city administration. He stressed that the separation of the posts and the introduction of "dual power" in the capital is unconstitutional. Klitschko also said the practice of electing local authorities is European, and the appointment of someone to these positions contradicts it.
Bohdan said at a recent press conference that one of the "supervisors" of Kyiv had allegedly approached him and suggested splitting money stolen from Kyiv's budget in half for not taking steps to change KCSA head. At the same time, Bohdan said that he did not expect such a twist and thus was unable to record the conversation.
On June 25, 2014, Kyiv Mayor Klitschko was appointed KCSA head by decree of the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. By another decree, Poroshenko dismissed Volodymyr Bondarenko from that post.