NABU says suspects in case of largest bribe in Ukraine can avoid responsibility
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) say unprecedented resistance from individual employees of the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) and Pechersky District Court of Kyiv, because of which the minister of President Viktor Yanukovych's time can avoid responsibility for the committed grave crime of corruption.
NABU does not say the name of the mentioned former minister. As it is known, this is about former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the times of President Yanukovych Mykola Zlochevsky. "NABU detectives exposed the former minister's accomplices in June 2020, immediately after they provided an illegal benefit of $5 million in the interests of the former minister. This is the largest documented bribe to law enforcement officers in the history of Ukraine [...]Despite the fact that the case has already been investigated, Pechersky District Court of Kyiv on December 24, 2020 secretly, without the participation of the SAPO prosecutors, made a decision, by which it actually ordered the Prosecutor General to take the proceedings from NABU and transfer them to another agency of pretrial investigation," NABU said on its Facebook page.
The bureau called this decision of Pechersky District Court as illegal, since the law directly prohibits transferring the cases of NABU to other agencies of pretrial investigation.
"Taking into account the foregoing and in the light of the facts established by NABU detectives, which may indicate the influence of the former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources on current officials in the government, including law enforcement agencies, the transfer of the case to another agency of pretrial investigation may lead to the fact that a top official exposed for committing a corruption crime will avoid responsibility for what he has done," NABU said.
The department also said that such a number of clearly illegal actions of agencies and judiciary authorities were not observed over the entire period of the existence of anti-corruption agencies. A day earlier, the SAPO said that the decision of Pechersky District Court to transfer to another agency of the pretrial investigation of the case of an attempt to bribe the leadership of anti-corruption agencies to close criminal proceedings on suspicion of the former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources will be appealed to the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court.