The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office claim unprecedented resistance of the Prosecutor General's Office and Pechersky District Court of Kyiv. It contributes the Minister in the administration of former President Viktor Yanukovych to avoid liability for a grave corruption crime.
In the summer of 2020, the ex-Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources in conspiracy with the officials of the State Tax Service of Ukraine organized an attempt to bribe NABU and SAPO executives to terminate the case as of the ex-Minister. He is suspected in the embezzlement and further legalization of the stabilization loan funds granted by the National Bank of Ukraine to the PJSC “Real Bank”
In June 2020, the NABU Detectives exposed three persons, who tried to give an improper advantage in the amount of USD 5 million in the interests of the ex-Minister. It became the largest bribe in the history of Ukraine documented by the law enforcement bodies.
NABU completed the investigation as of those facts in the beginning of December 2020. The SAPO Prosecutors found the gathered evidence sufficient for the case to be send to court. The suspects and defense had been granted with access to the materials of the investigation.
Despite the fact that the case is already under investigation, on December 24, 2020, Pechersky District Court of Kyiv secretly, without the participation of the SAPO Prosecutors, made a decision actually ordering the Prosecutor General to transfer the proceeding from NABU to another pre-trial investigation body.
The decision of Pechersky District Court is illegal, as the law prohibits the transfer of the NABU cases to other pre-trial investigation bodies. The court refused to pass the documents to the SAPO Prosecutors, instead in violation of the law passed them to a representative of the Prosecutor General's Office who has no authority to participate in the proceeding.
NABU states that the Prosecutor General’s Office contributes to legitimization of the illegal actions of the court.
Taking into account the abovementioned and the facts established by the NABU Detectives, which may indicate the influence of the ex-Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources on acting officials in the government, including law enforcement agencies, transferring the case to another body of pre-trial investigation may lead to the fact that the top official is exposed on the commission of a corruption offense, will avoid criminal liability.