The information that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (further referred to as NABU) allegedly stopped “proactively investigating Manafort” on political grounds, published by BBC on May 23rd 2018, is not true.
Indeed, NABU has never investigated Paul Manafort. In August 2016, in response to numerous requests from the international and Ukrainian mass media regarding appearance of Paul Manafort’s name on the Party of Regions ‘Black Ledger’ (documents passed to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau by Viktor Trepak, the Ex-first-deputy Head of the State Security Service of Ukraine in May 2016), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine published some fragments of the documents. In the comment to this publication, made on August 18, 2016, it was noted that Paul Manafort was indeed mentioned on the "black ledger”, but it did not mean that he actually had got the money, because the signatures that appeared in the column of recipients could belong to other people.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has also repeatedly stated that NABU as the law enforcement agency, created to fight top-corruption in Ukraine, is not authorized to investigate the alleged payments of the Party of Region to Paul Manafort. He has never been a civil servant in Ukraine, and therefore he is not subject to the NABU’s jurisdiction.
In June, 2017, the Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor`s Office took the materials of the “Black Ledger” case (except the episode of the Head of the Central Election Commission allegedly receiving an improper advantage) from NABU and passed them to the Department of Special Investigations of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (PGO) that has been investigating the usurpation of authority by the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
Thus, in fact, since June 2017, the pre-trial investigation of this case is conducted by the PGO. The NABU Detectives assisted their colleagues as part of a joint investigation group in order to implement some previous developments.
Therefore, the information on the role of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, as well as the chronology of the events surrounding the NABU, which was published by BBC on May 23rd, does not reflect the actual situation. The NABU does not object when journalists use the information from their own sources. However, we are convinced that the official position of the state agency should be also taken into account, which, unfortunately, did not happen in this case.
We emphasize that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau works without regard to political agreements or personal sympathies of political leaders.