11:14 17.01.2024

Optima distance learning school claims pressure from law enforcers accusing of illegal purchase of land for building school

3 min read
Optima distance learning school claims pressure from law enforcers accusing of illegal purchase of land for building school

KYIV. Jan 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) –  The Optima distance learning school announced the forced suspension of construction of an educational center near Kyiv due to unfounded accusations from law enforcement officers of the illegal land acquisition.

As the founder and CEO of the Optima distance learning school, Maria Miletska, said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday, it concerns investigative actions by law enforcement agencies, which accused her of illegally acquiring a land plot of about 4 hectares near Kyiv.

According to Miletska, the project has been suspended for at least four months.

For his part, Miletska's lawyer Oleksandr Protas said that, according to accusations from law enforcement agencies, Miletska does not have legal rights to the land plot, despite the fact that she purchased it on the secondary market at the market price.

Protas said that the site was alienated from the land fund of the Ministry of Defense six or seven years ago and, since then, it has changed owners several times.

"As it turned out later, this land is under investigation, since it became a source of enrichment for some officials. I do not undertake to comment on how legally or illegally this land was transferred to individuals at one time, but Miletska acquired this land completely legally, at the market price. A company engaged in a professional search for land plots offered this land, all payments were cashless. There were no comments from the public registrar, the notary who endorsed this registration. And after the land was acquired, Maria Oleksandrivna, unfortunately, became a participant in criminal proceedings," he said.

At the same time, the lawyer emphasized "unprecedented pressure [on Miletska] from the investigators in this case."

"I was present during the unexpected searches. I witnessed outright threats. There was no need to conduct such investigative actions as a search at all because the documents required by law enforcement officers were given voluntarily," he said.

Protas said "there are already two court decisions recognizing Maria Oleksandrivna as an absolutely respectable purchaser of this land."

"The panel of judges sided with our client in that Maria Miletska did not alienate the land from the Ministry of Defense, that Miletska acquired it from individuals, to whom until recently the state had no claims," he said.

Protas said that the local rural council distributed this land among its residents back in 2017, and until 2023, they were the absolutely legal owners of these lands.

At the same time, Protas said that, at present, his client does not yet have any grounds for appealing with the ECHR since all possibilities for protection provided for by national legislation have not been exhausted.

In turn, the founder of the Optima school, Latvian citizen Roberts Vaishla, said that the school has already implemented several educational projects in Ukraine. In particular, it is the Optima Kids project, providing educational materials and enabling children to prepare for school, and a college training in three specialties.

In addition, Optima has received Cambridge accreditation and is preparing content, allowing Ukrainian children to study according to Cambridge standards and programs in Ukraine.