On January 24, 2020, the Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) under the procedural guidance of the prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor`s Office (SAPO) gave notices of suspicion to four persons involved in embezzlement of UAH 92 million from Odesa Сity budget during purchasing of the buildings of the "Holding Company "Krayan" OJSC.
The total number of people involved in the scheme increased to 12. The indictment as of 8 persons has already been sent to court.
Among the "new" suspects there are:
- a person, who supervised the Development Elite LLC;
- two persons, who coordinated the scheme participants;
- an accomplice, representative of a group of people who had influence on a number of Odesa City Council officials.
The actions of all suspects are qualified under Part 5 Article 191, Part 3 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The investigation revealed that in the period from July to December 2016 the Odesa City Mayor jointly with other officials of the Odesa City Hall and a private company embezzled funds from Odesa city budget in the amount of UAH 92 million. According to the NABU Detectives, the corruption scheme was implemented by buying a building of the bankrupt "Krayan Plant" at inflated prices. Then the officials tried to transfer those funds to a fictitious company (the owner of the company is being at the uncontrolled territory of the Luhansk Region). However, the NABU Detectives and the SAPO Prosecutors prevented the attempt to legalize the funds and filed the petition for its arrest.
The NABU Detectives started the pre-trial investigation of the criminal proceeding in November 2016.
In October 2018, the indictment as of 8 persons, including Odesa City Mayor who acted as principals of the crime, was sent to Malynovsky District Court of Odesa. The court considered the case very quickly as for the Ukrainian justice system, and in the end, the court has not taken into account almost all of the evidence presented by the prosecution.
The SAPO Prosecutors now insist on the evidence to be fully evaluated and a reasoned decision to be passed. Currently the Appeals Chamber of the High Anti-Corruption Court considers the case.
At the same time, the NABU Detectives continue to investigate all the circumstances and establish other persons involved in the commission of the crime.
According to 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.