PGO submits 'Tatarov case' to SBU, NABU calls this interference in investigation to protect official
The Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) submitted the criminal proceedings on the suspicion of Deputy Head of the President's Office of Ukraine Oleh Tatarov to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) considers this to be an interference in the investigation to protect the official.
"On December 23, 2020, Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko transferred criminal proceedings on suspicion of the deputy head of the President's Office from the NABU to the Security Service of Ukraine. The decision was made in secret, without consulting the NABU and SAPO [the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office], in fact, under cover of night: the relevant mark in the unified register of pretrial investigations were made at 23:42," the NABU said in a statement released on its website. Thus, NABU said the PGO is carrying out an unprecedented interference in the history of Ukraine in the bureau's investigation.
"The law prohibits transferring cases in which crimes under investigation by NABU are investigated to other pretrial investigation agencies. Thus, the PGO deliberately made an illegal decision that contradicts the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine," the bureau said in the statement.
At the same time, on Thursday, at 12:30, the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine was supposed to impose a preventive measure on Tatarov.
"In order to exclude imposing the preventive measure, the case was transferred to the SBU for investigation, bringing this fact to the attention of the SAPO prosecutors at 09:00," the bureau said.
In this regard, the NABU believes that the PGO is actually protecting Tatarov, which completely discredits the public authority.
"The PGO neglected all this for the sake of protecting an official suspected of corruption," the bureau said.
The NABU detectives also said they have evidence that the deputy head of the President's Office was involved in providing unlawful benefits for ensuring the issuance of an inaccurate written opinion of a forensic expert in the case of the seizure of UAH 81 million by the National Guard of Ukraine.
At the same time, the SBU press service told Interfax-Ukraine that according to the unified register of pretrial investigations, further investigation of the criminal proceedings in question has been entrusted to the investigators of the Main Investigation Department of the SBU.
"The materials of the criminal proceedings have not been received by the SBU investigators," the Ukrainian special service said.