"Gas case": the indictment as of MP-organizer of the scheme sent to court

18.02.2019 00:00

On February 18, 2019, the indictment as of the Member of Parliament of Ukraine (MP) Oleksandr Onyshchenko, accused of organizing public funds embezzlement scheme while producing and selling gas under joint operation agreements with the Public Joint-Stock Company (PJSC) “Ukrgasvydobuvannia” (the so-called "gas case"), was sent to the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv. The investigation as of another participant of the corruption scheme — Financial Director of the companies controlled by the MP was also completed.The MP is accused of committing crimes under Part 1 Article 255, Part 5 Article 191, Part 2 Article 205, Part 2 Article 205-1, Part 2 Article 364-1, Part 2 Article 366, Part 3 Article 209, Part 1 Article 263 and Part 1 Article 388 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The Financial Director is accused of committing crimes under Part 1 Article 255, Part 5 Article 191, Part 2 Article 205, Part 2 Article 205-1, Part 3 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

If found guilty, the abovementioned persons may face imprisonment from 7 to 12 years with forfeiture of property.

Within the investigation, according to the NABU`s claims, 1 million cubic meters of gas, 6 million EUR, 1 property (office), 1 aircraft and other property were seized. This property and funds may be recovered as compensation for losses caused to the interests of the state according to the court sentence.

The investigation revealed that the MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko is a creator and Head of a criminal organization, whose members in the period from January 2013 until June 2016 illegally seized more than 1.6 billion UAH while producing and selling natural gas. As a result, more than 740 million UAH losses were caused to the PJSC “Ukrgasvydobuvannia” (100% belong to the NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine").

The investigation revealed that 29 persons were involved in this scheme. Among them there are two close persons to the MP who acted as of co-organizers, others — employees of the PJSC “Ukrgasvydobuvannia”, lawyers, financiers, company executives etc.

Within the investigation, 8 persons have signed plea bargain agreements. The indictments as of 15 suspects (including the MP and the Financial Director) were sent to court.

6 persons (including the MP) were placed on international wanted list.

The so-called "gas case" is one of the first criminal proceedings registered by the Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. The data on the investigation was entered into the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations in December 2015. This case is one of the most resonance disclosures of corruption in the time of independent Ukraine, taking into account the status of the organizers and participants in the scheme, the number of people involved, the amount of damage caused to the State.

According to the Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine a person is considered not-guilty in commission of crime and cannot be a subject to criminal punishment, until he or she is found guilty by the court