Court obliges prosecutor general to consider petition of Bakhmatiuk's lawyer to withdraw VAB Bank case from NABU - Ukrlandfarming
The Pechersky District Court of Kyiv on January 21 obliged Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to consider the petition of the lawyer of the owner of Ukrlandfarming agricultural holding, Oleh Bakhmatiuk, to change the investigative jurisdiction of the case on the stabilization loan VAB Bank for UAH 1.2 billion, initiated by the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).
"The court recognized the existence of a conflict of interests of officials and the groundlessness of suspicions. Also, on January 28, the Kyiv Court of Appeals ... refused to open the appeal proceedings ... that is, by its decision, it confirmed the legality of the decision of the Pechersky Court dated January 21, 2021," the agricultural holding said.
In the opinion of Ukrlandfarming, such a court verdict confirms that the pressure of the NABU on the company and Bakhmatiuk is connected with a direct conflict of interests of NABU Director Artem Sytnyk, whose main witness for the corruption offense was the advisor to Bakhmatiuk's sister.
The agroholding's statement also says that NABU investigators also have a direct conflict of interest in the case, as they are involved in the SBU case of blackmailing Bakhmatiuk's bank employees by citizen Irena Ross.
In turn, the NABU called such a decision of the Pechersky District Court illegal interference in the investigation into the stabilization loan for UAH 1.2 billion. The bureau said that this is the exclusive jurisdiction of the NABU and the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine (SAPO), while decisions on NABU and SAPO cases can be made exclusively by the High Anti-Corruption Court.
The NABU also stated that the body authorized to determine the presence of a conflict of interest in the actions of officials, according to the law, is the National Agency on Corruption Prevention.
"The prosecution appealed against the decision of the Pechersky District Court of January 21, 2020 legally, that is, in the Appeals Chamber of the High Anti-Corruption Court," the NABU reported.