VAB Bank ex-owner Bakhmatiuk believes putting him on wanted list illegal, ready to talk through lawyers or conference call
The Interior Ministry of Ukraine upon the application of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has put ex-owner of VAB Bank Oleh Bakhmatiuk on a wanted list, although Bakhmatiuk told an Interfax-Ukraine reporter himself that he is on a business trip abroad and is ready to talk to investigators through his lawyers or a video call.
"This is another manipulation. Our international lawyers were surprised by such a position. I have lawyers and I have my rights as a citizen of Ukraine. I am ready to talk to investigators, provide documents. We want to have understanding of the process and a constructive dialogue," the businessman said in a phone conversation with Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.
He stressed that law enforcers have not presented him with a suspicion note or a summons.
"One cannot present a suspicion note by simply putting it on a pole," Bakhmatiuk said to recall his position regarding the NABU's statement on November 13 saying that the business man was notified in absentia of suspicion within the VAB Bank case.
Bakhmatiuk said that his lawyers would appeal against the actions of law enforcers in court, in particular in an international court.
He emphasized that the case on the issue of a stabilization loan to VAB Bank was far-fetched. Bakhmatiuk added that statements, made in particular by international partners, in support of former First Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Oleksandr Pysaruk to deny collusion on the issue of the stabilization loan also prove that the businessman is innocent.
Bakhmatiuk expressed hope that the recently opened High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine would make a fair decision.
He also emphasized that the situation has a negative impact on his large agricultural holdings UkrLandFarming and Avangard and hinders negotiations with investors on financial for repayment of debts to banks.
UkrLandFarming on Friday issued a statement calling the NABU's actions to put Bakhmatiuk on wanted list "politically motivated, legally absurd," and also reported a conflict of interest in this case with NABU Head Artem Sytnyk. According to the holding, on Friday the court was to hear a counterclaim against the decision of the court of lower instance to impose an administrative penalty on the head of the NABU under a protocol on corrupt behavior in the form of undeclared vacation in Rivne region, but Sytnyk did not come to the court, and the judge disqualified himself. UkrLandFarming believes that if Sytnyk loses the appeal, he will be forced to resign.
"This case confirms the statement about the existence of a conflict of interest with Artem Sytnyk in the VAB Bank case, because the key witness who paid for the elite vacation of the director of NABU – Mykola Nadiyka, testified against Sytnyk, which was confirmed by financial documents. Nadiyka is advisor to Oleh Bakhmatiuk's sister," the agricultural holding said.
According to him, Sytnyk allegedly asked Nadiyka to change the testimony in this case through a confidant, but Nadiyka refused to give false testimonies and states that he is ready to go through a lie detector to prove the truth of his testimony, already proved by the investigation.
"The case of NABU against Bakhmatiuk is obviously used the Sytnyk with the purpose of pressure on the witness," UkrLandFarming said.