Detectives of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) have not provided the lawyers of VAB Bank's ex-owner and current owner of Ukraine's agricultural giant, UkrLandFarming, Oleg Bakhmatyuk with documents on the basis of which he was notified he was a suspect in the case of embezzling UAH 1.2 billion (US$50.2 million) and was put on the wanted list.
"Last week, on Friday [November 29], we, as lawyers, were not given the opportunity to read the case file. We arrived at the Bureau twice, but the detectives didn't come out to us and we were not even allowed inside," Bakhmatyuk's lawyer Oleksiy Shevchuk said at a press conference on December 2, 2019.
He added the High Anti-Corruption Court on December 4 would consider a complaint by the lawyers against NABU detectives regarding the inability to read the case file.
"Today we cannot get a single document from the case to report to the European Court of Human Rights. Accordingly, our defense capabilities are limited," Shevchuk added.
Yet, the lawyers said neither Bakhmatyuk nor former head of VAB Bank Denys Maltsev had officially been served with charge papers.
"Moreover, the lawyers' attempts to find out the grounds the criminal prosecution was launched are blocked by NABU. Everyone has the right to know what he is suspected of, and if they put him on the wanted list, on the basis of which it was done," said another lawyer Tetiana Kozachenko.
In addition, according to the lawyers, NABU and the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) were officially notified of the exact whereabouts of the said individuals in confirmation that no one was hiding from the investigation, and therefore there were no legal grounds for declaring them wanted.
"He is not and was not on the international wanted list. We, as lawyers, disclosed the client's whereabouts – this is Austria, where he has been since the beginning of autumn when the case was closed and he had no restrictions on leaving Ukraine. Now he really has concerns about his family and himself over the actions of the prosecutor's office," Shevchuk added.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on November 22, 2019, the Interior Ministry's website published information that Bakhmatyuk had been put on the wanted list. Earlier, on November 14, NABU detectives informed Bakhmatyuk he was suspected of embezzling UAH 1.2 billion, which was issued by the National Bank of Ukraine as a stabilization loan to VAB Bank.