Ukraine's prosecutors refute NYT report claiming Kyiv halted cooperation in Manafort probe
U.S. law enforcement officials did not apply to the Prosecutor General's Office for assistance in their investigation into possible wrongdoings by Donald Trump's ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort, Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin wrote on Facebook.
"Neither the FBI nor [Robert]Mueller turned to the PGO with any requests for legal assistance in connection with the Manafort case," Yenin wrote.
The comment came in a response to the NYT article claiming that Ukraine officials, "wary of offending" U.S. President Donald Trump, have "effectively frozen" four criminal cases involving Manafort.
"I'd like to hope that this is a banal case of 'lost in translation,' since there are no problems in international legal cooperation between the PGO and our American partners. The best evidence proving this is more than $600,000 returned from the U.S. to Ukraine in the framework of investigations related to those mentioned in the New York Times article," Yenin said.
Read alsoThe Guardian: Former Trump aide approved 'black ops' to help Ukraine president YanukovychIn turn, People's Deputy Volodymyr Ariev, who was referred to in the NYT piece, stated that his words were pulled out context.
"I did not expect this from an acclaimed publication," he wrote on Facebook.
"When a journalist, Andrew Kramer, asked Ariev if I knew something about the investigation of Manafort having been stopped in Ukraine and if I was aware whether the American colleagues contacted Ukrainian law enforcers, I answered [translated from a Facebook post in Russian] 'I don't know for sure whether the American side addressed their Ukrainian colleagues. I can assume that due to the situation in the country, Ukraine avoids all situations that could irritate the U.S. administration, but if American investigators turn to Ukrainian ones, the Ukrainian side will do everything necessary under the existing bilateral agreements.' I insisted that the continuity of this phrase be maintained if I were to be quoted, and it's not in vain. Another comment of mine went like this: 'It is possible that the Manafort case could be put in a long-term box, but it's mainly because we simply have not enough investigators who could carry out quality investigation in cases of such level of complexity," Ariev explained.