Ukraine’s Office of Public Prosecutor brought charges against several ex-leaders of the corporation United Energy Systems of Ukraine, once headed by Yulia Timoshenko. The charges were brought against Yulia Timoshenko’s father-in-law, Gennady Timoshenko.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nikolay Obikhod informs, in November – December’2001 an investigator of the Office of Public Prosecutor appealed to the Pechera district court of Kiev for a permission to arrest several leaders of the corporation. The people were accused of committing grave crimes.
The court decreed to detain several members of the top management and deliver them to court. Head of the corporation’s board Yevgeny Shago, Director General Gennady Timoshenko, chief accountant Lidiya Sokolchenko and accountant Antonina Balyura were to be among them. Charges have been brought against these people and they are searched for. The Deputy Public Prosecutor says, the people are accused of concealment of the corporation’s currency proceeds at the rate of $181,542,000 over the period of 1996-1997; of large-scale thefts of the public assets – 14 million hryvnas ($2,5 million) within 1997-1999 done with forged documents on value-added tax refunding in favor of the energy corporation.
Besides, the people are accused of a theft of the public funds at the rate of 22,910,000 hryvnas (over $3 million), smuggling of Russian natural gas across Ukraine’s border to the sum of $2,251,000,000 and falsification of documents.
Nikolay Obikhod also reports, some other participants of the criminal activity have been detained outside Ukraine. They are to be subject to extradition now. The Deputy Public Prosecutor says, there are lots of important evidences for the criminal case to be handed over to the court.
The criminal cases of the ex-leaders of the energy corporation are connected with the case of Ex-prime Minister of Ukraine Pavel Lazarenko, who has been imprisoned in the USA on an accusation of money laundering.
The Office of Public Prosecutor prosecutes Yulia Timoshenko, who headed the energy corporation before election to the parliament, for forgery of documents and large-scale tax evasion. Besides, a criminal case has been instituted against Yulia Timoshenko for bribing. On February 13, 2001 she had been detained and delivered to the detention center in Kiev; on March 27 she was released. The Office of Public Prosecutor appealed against the decision. In September’2001 Yulia Timoshenko was released after giving a written undertaking not to leave the place. She had to undergo a rehabilitation course after the release.
On August 9, 2001 other ex-leaders of the corporation, Alexander Timoshenko (Yulia Timoshenko’s husband) and Valery Falkovich, were released under the guarantees of several Ukrainian deputies.
The Office of Public Prosecutor had instituted criminal proceedings against Alexander Timoshenko and Valery Falkovich on August 18, 2000. They had been accused of a theft of the public funds through the export transaction of rolled metal of Ukrtechservice company to the Far Eastern countries to the sum of $800,000 in the 90s.
The other day Ukraine’s Supreme Court confirmed the decision of the Svyatoshinsky district court on release of Alexander Timoshenko and Valery Falkovich. At the end of 2001 the Prosecutor’s Office closed two of the four criminal cases instituted against Yulia Timoshenko.
Ordinary citizens of Ukraine hardly understand, whether there have been actual reasons for detention of Alexander Timoshenko, whether the thefts have been in fact or not, or for what infractions of the law Yulia Timoshenko herself had been detained. The people are at a loss about the case.
Recently it has been published, now Yulia Timoshenko is allowed to visit any part of the country without any restrictions. The Pechera district court of Kiev banned any investigating proceedings against the leader of the pre-election coalition “Yulia Timoshenko’s coalition”. PRAVDA.Ru already informed about it. Deputy Public Prosecutor Nikolay Obikhod considers this decision to be at attempt to interfere in the criminal investigation. What is of great importance as well, the local court in Kiev passed this decision on November 28, 2001, but the Office of Public Prosecutor knew about it only on January 9, 2002. It is said, Yulia Timoshenko brought it to the Prosecutor’s Office herself. The decision of the Kiev court could have been appealed against within 15 days, but the Prosecutor’s Office could not do it right after passing of the decision, as it was merely unaware of it.
The Office of Public Prosecutor says, Yulia Timoshenko’s appeal could not have been accepted for consideration by the Svyatoshinsky district court, that is situated not in Kiev, but in the Kiev region. Materials of an accomplished criminal case only could be submitted for consideration of the court. A demand for materials of the criminal case is an infraction of the law, as the course of the investigation is to remain undisclosed.
The deputy public prosecutor says, the case is being investigated now, by the end of the investigation a decision on its delivery to the court is to be made. There will be no other case, Nikolay Obikhod says.
A friend of mine has his own point of view on the problem. He asks: “Do you know that Ukraine is rated third in the world regarding the corruption development level ?” I say, I know. Then he offers: “Treat everything then in the light of this fact. Some people merely steal. Others detain and imprison those who steal. And the third settle the problem quietly and release the accused. And money dominates over the whole situation. And probably these are the very sums mentioned in the information published by the investigation.”
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/01/26/36148.html