NABU comment on allegations of assisting corrupt schemes in the defense industry

12.03.2019 02:00

In the last part of the video story of Lesiia Ivanova (journalist of «BIHUS.INFO») accusations of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) engaged and cooperate with companies involved in corruption during purchases in the defense complex were made. The NABU respects the work of investigative journalists. At the same time, the video contains inaccuracies, and, sometimes, manipulations. Next — by points.

“In December 2016, the NABU eliminated “OptimumSpectsdetal” from the list of fictitious companies-suppliers of “Ukroboronprom”

It is not true. The NABU is not authorized both to give data on fictitiousness and to create or maintain a list/register of fictitious companies. This is the authority of other bodies. However, the NABU, as any state body, is obligated to respond to requests. During 2016-2017, the State Concern “Ukroboronprom” repeatedly requested the NABU to provide data on counterpart companies. The NABU answers were related to those companies, which “Ukroboronprom” asked.

Secondly, the Limited Liability Company (LLC) “OptimumSpectsdetal” was mentioned in four letters from the NABU to «Ukroboronprom». None of them did not refute the fact that the company is engaged in illegal activities. Instead, specific, documented facts at that time were given. These data were collected during the pre-trial investigation of criminal proceedings as of the facts of funds embezzlement of the State Enterprise “Kharkiv Armored Plant” during supply of spare parts and components to armored vehicles in 2014-2016.

In a letter dated January 20, 2017, signed by the First Deputy Director of the NABU, there were informed on signs of illegal activity of four companies based on the act of the State Financial Inspectorate No. 08-20/13. According to this act, the unlawful activity was established only in the companies mentioned in the response. There were no reasons to include to the letter other companies, such as the LLC “OptimumSpectsdetal”, which were mentioned in the request of the “Ukroboronprom”, at the time of signing the letter.

The LLC “OptimumSpectsdetal” has always been in the focus of attention of the NABU Detectives. The letters sent from the NABU to “Ukroboronprom” later evidence this. They contained data that directly indicated on signs of possible illegal activity of this company.

This was mentioned in the NABU response to the requests of BIHUS.INFO journalists. In order to provide objective information, they should be published in the video story. However, unfortunately, for some reasons journalists did not find time in the video for these letters.

Thirdly, in reference to a letter that allegedly “lies on the Givi’s table”, it should be noted following.

In the correspondence of the subjects of the journalistic investigation, the name “Givi” cannot be a nick of Gizo Uglava. During the mentioned in the video story period (January 21-31, 2017), no letters were sent to the abovementioned companies by the First Deputy Director of the NABU. At that time, he was neither on a business trip nor on vacation, as was mentioned in the journalistic investigation.

“The NABU did nothing in the investigation for three years. The case was forgotten and was not investigated”

This conclusion can be reached if you follow the registry of court decisions. However, this register, in addition to the public, also has a closed part. It contains most of the decisions regarding investigative actions in criminal proceedings in defense sector. During 2017-2019, in the case mentioned by the journalist (criminal proceeding as of the facts of funds embezzlement of the State Enterprise “Kharkiv Armored Plant” during supply of spare parts and components to armored vehicles during 2014-2016) the NABU Detectives conducted about 80 procedural and investigative actions. Over 20 temporary accesses were obtained, original documents on economic-legal relations between the State Enterprise and its counteragents (including those mentioned in the video story of Lesiia Ivanova) were seized, and both private companies and State Enterprises employees were interrogated.

All these investigative actions were conducted under the procedural guidance of the prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO). We emphasized that the NABU Detectives inform the SAPO prosecutors on the investigative actions during the monthly hearings of the First Deputy Director (he is the senior investigator in almost all criminal proceedings related to the defense industry and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine) and the Deputy Head of the SAPO.

All these three years the NABU were investigating corruption in the defense sector. A number of top-officials were brought to criminal liability for corruption crimes in the defense sector. Among them there are the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, the Head of Armored Command Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, executives of the Lviv Armored Plant, representatives of the LLC "Spetstechnoexport" (falls within the scope of management of the State Enterprise "Ukroboronprom"). These criminal proceedings were investigated by 11 NABU Detectives. They investigate other criminal proceedings, not only regarding defense sector.

“Agent” Shevchenko sponsors fake letters from the NABU to private companies (letters contains data that the companies are not fictitious)”

The NABU has never issued no letters on non-fictitious to anyone. Moreover, unlike others law enforcement authorities, the NABU did not terminate any criminal proceeding as of the facts of corruption in the defense sector.

The level of corruption in the defense sector, the influence of the participants involved in the schemes and eliminating of these schemes are a serious challenge for the anti-corruption body. In this case, it is objectively difficult to collect evidence after several years from the time of the committing a crime (from 2015 to the beginning of 2016). The liquidation of such crimes, the gathering of evidence, requires special approaches to the strategy and tactics of the investigation.

While the NABU Detectives collect data to reproduce the circumstances of the committing a crime, other law enforcement authorities, having evidence and being aware of the NABU investigations, do not send this data to the NABU Detectives.

We also emphasized that none of the NABU employees received bribes. It is a matter of honor to confirm it legally

That is why the Internal Control Department of the NABU, already before the last part of the journalistic investigative story, has been started an investigation as of the facts of allegedly illegal actions of the NABU employees related to the individuals involved in the published story. Currently, the internal investigation is in progress.

We assure that we will fully assist investigators of the State Bureau of Investigations in conducting their pre-trial investigation as of facts published by BIHUS.INFO.