HACC passes first prison sentence under plea deal

29.10.2021 01:00

On Oct. 28, 2021, the High Anti-Corruption Court approved a plea deal, sentencing the former head of a branch of JSC "State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine" to 3.5 years in prison. The sentenced has also been stripped of the right to hold certain posts for 3 years and must pay a fine. This is for the first time in HACC's history, when a person has got a real prison term after a plea deal and not a suspended sentence.

The indictment had it that in November-December 2019, the head of a branch of state-owned JSC "State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine", abusing his official post, without any permission of the owner, organized the shipment of grain that belonged to the state corporation for further sale to commercial entities. Thus, the official misappropriated the state-owned grain worth almost UAH 15 million.

In the course of the investigation, the official pleaded guilty and took a plea deal. He was convicted of committing a crime under Part 2 Art. 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, providing for up to six years in prison. Hence, he was sentenced to twice less than the maximum - three and a half years.

This once again confirms that the plea deal concept really works in Ukraine. Realizing the inevitability of punishment and weighing the outputs of anti-corruption agencies, exposed officials admit their guilt, take plea deals, compensate for damages or provide valuable evidence in turn for less severe punishment.