On July 2, 2021, NABU and SAPO filed an indictment against the former First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, former Deputy Minister of Defense and Acting Director of the Department of the Ministry of Defense to court. They are charged with the embezzlement of UAH 17.44 million with their actions falling under Part 2, Art. 364 of the Criminal code of Ukraine.
As established, in 2017, the former Deputy Minister of Defense, Acting Director of the Department for Military-Technical Policy of Arms and Military Equipment Development of the Ministry of Defense colluded with the former First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council to secure the purchase of Bohdan 6317 multi-purpose off-road trucks at illegally inflated prices. The vehicles were to be produced by Avtoskladalnyi Zavod №2 - a subsidiary of Bohdan Motors JSC, which is part of the group of related companies of Bohdan Corporation. The shares in the authorized capital of Bohdan Corporation belonged directly and indirectly to the NSDC official and his relatives.
At the stage of forming the state defense order for 2017-2019, the government put forward a number of requirements for trucks it planned to purchase at the expense of the state budget for the needs of the army. Among other things, it was about the level of localization (the amount of work done directly in Ukraine to support the domestic manufacturer) that had to be at least 60%. At that time, the trucks did not meet these requirements, with the level of localization making only up to 10%.
As a result of lobbying, localization requirements were reduced to 20%. Despite the fact that the manufacturer did not meet these requirements, it still secured the order, though subject to bringing the level of localization to 20% by the end of 2017 and its further increase to 30% within three years. However, as the investigation later established, the relevant costs of increasing the level of localization were illegally covered at the expense of the state budget, which was later confirmed by the State Audit Service.
The contract between the Ministry of Defense and the manufacturer provided for a partial prepayment and the impossibility to revise the price and the limit of the contractual calculation items. However, contrary to this condition, the price was increased, while the officials of MOD's department, agreed to the purchase, having previously received consent from the Deputy Minister of Defense. As a result, UAH 17.44 million was illegally overpaid to the manufacturer, which is confirmed by the conclusions of the State Audit Service and an expert evaluation.
Based on these facts, the former First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council was notified of suspicion of abuse of office in October 2019. In April 2020, new suspects emerged - the former Deputy Minister of Defense and Acting Director of one of the departments of the Ministry of Defense. In June 2020, the investigation was completed, the case materials were made available for the defense for review.
The defense's familiarization with the materials of pre-trial investigation lasted 13 months. During this period, due to the abuse of the right to review the materials by the suspects and their defense, the prosecution appealed to the investigating judge four times to determine the deadline for the defense to review the materials. Only the fourth motion was partially granted and a deadline for reviewing the materials was set until June 30, 2021.
The former Deputy Minister of Defense is accused in another case already under investigation by NABU and SAPO: the embezzlement of more than UAH 58 million during the purchase of fuel for MOD's needs.
According to Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a person is considered not-guilty in the commission of a crime and cannot be subject to criminal punishment until he or she is found guilty by court.