Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) Department of International Legal Cooperation, Head of the Criminal Procedural Management Department Kostiantyn Kulyk says former head of the Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin, NBU ex-governor Valeria Gontareva, odious ex-minister of ecology Mykola Zlochevsky, and other top officials, to whom on Thursday, March 28, he issued suspicion notices, are involved in the case of fugitive oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko.
The corresponding statement was transmitted to journalists and read out by a 1+1's Pravo na Vladu panel show host Natalya Moseychuk.
“In connection with the contradictory information that my PGO colleagues are spreading, I consider it important to make the following statement: I am the prosecutor in the Kurchenko case. The case has been investigated for five years and the evidence of the group's criminal activity amounts to over 3,000 volumes. A year ago, the court gave permission for a special investigation on Kurchenko, and recently, a group of prosecutors was engaged in paperwork on the case and preparing the final drafts of suspicion notices to the persons involved,” Kulyk reported in a statement read out by Moseychuk.
According to Kulyk, the suspicion notice against Kurchenko is 1,360 pages long. It includes episodes of conspiracy of various persons in the commission of various crimes.
“In order to forward the Kurchenko case to court, procedural decisions must be taken regarding his accomplices. In at least four different episodes, Serhiy Kurchenko’s accomplices turned out to be Lozhkin, Shverk, Filatov, Gontareva, Stetsenko, Zlochevsky, and others. Of these, to this day, Lozhkin, Filatov, Shverk, Gontareva, Stetsenko and Zlochevsky remained without official suspicion notices. I affirm that without issuing official suspicion notifications to them it would have been impossible to complete the criminal case against Serhiy Kurchenko. I personally signed 96 of 98 suspicion notices in this large-scale investigation. These documents were either handed over personally or mailed to the suspects,” the statement says.
According to him, said defendants were never subpoenaed to the PGO, as they allegedly belong to the so-called "caste of untouchables".
“Why didn't these defendants get subpoenaed to the PGO so that suspicions could be handed to them, so we went for sending documents by mail? The answer is obvious for Ukrainian citizens. Alas, in our country, there is a caste of 'untouchables'. It is also obvious what would have happened if there was an attempt to officially establish the addresses of their actual residence for handing over the suspicions in person. The Criminal Procedure Code permits, in circumstances where the place of residence of a person is unknown, to send procedural documents at the address of their registration. I took advantage of this position of the CCP,” Prosecutor Kulyk notes in the statement.
The deputy head of the PGO department stressed that the probing of episodes involving the above-mentioned persons has been practically completed, so “full investigation could be completed within two months in the regular mode.”
“I'd like to add something about the remarks of some of the PGO press service staff concerning the elections. None of the defendants in the Kurchenko case is currently in position to be able to influence the presidential election. If 'influence on election' implies that the public will start discussing the entourage of the guarantor of the Constitution as a gang of scoundrels, this can hardly be considered news: everybody is talking about this. Also, according to certain heads of prosecutors' offices, I have low moral qualities. But if the refusal to join any PGO grouping to sell cases is low moral values, then I don’t want to strive for their “high” stats,” he said.
Kulyk noted that he is not ready to put up with the fact that five years after the Revolution of Dignity and the change of power in Ukraine, Serhiy Kurchenko continues to gain profit from the operations of the UMH Holding and, being under the control of the FSB, influences Ukraine's information space.
“To assess the suspicions that I have put forward against the said persons, one should at least read the text of the suspicion that, apparently, my colleagues from the PGO are unlikely to have done so far. In conclusion, I would like to add: according to the legislation of Ukraine, there should be no lists of untouchables in our country. I'd like to remind everyone that it was because of this that people went out to the Maidan and volunteered to go to the ATO,” said Kostiantyn Kulyk.
“And stop trying to scare someone who has over 10 years of investigative experience with launching the case at the SBI. Even 'money-hunters' from NABU never succeeded in this," concluded Kulyk.
As UNIAN reported earlier, papers with charges over laundering billions of hryvnias of former President Viktor Yanukovych's "family" have been served by the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) of Ukraine to Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko's accomplices: former head of the Presidential Administration Boris Lozhkin, former Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Gontareva, co-owner of the ICU investment company Kostiantyn Stetsenko, Deputy Head of Presidential Administration Oleksiy Filatov, and others. In total, 98 persons were served with charge papers, including 12 senior officials of ministries and departments, as well as the National Bank and six heads of regional state administrations in Ukraine.
Via a comment on Facebook, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko provided details on charges brought against senior officials in the case opened against fugitive Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, an ally of ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
Later on Thursday, Larysa Sargan, spokeswoman for Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, and PGO speaker Andriy Lysenko distributed an official statement of the PGO that suspicion notices against former NBU Governor Valeria Gontareva, former head of Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin, co-owner of ICU Konstantin Stetsenko and deputy chief or Presidential Administration Oleksiy Filatov were announced in violation of law.
The identical statement posted on Facebook by both press officers says the Prosecutor General’s Office informs that “the so-called notification of suspicion of V.Gontareva, B.Lozhkin, K.Stetsenko, and O.Filatov was carried out with violation of procedural legislation, which requires sufficient evidence, an order of the prosecutors' group leader, and personal delivery." As noted in the statement," none of these requirements were met by prosecutor Kulyk.
Therefore, said persons are not considered suspects in the understanding of Art. 42 of the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine, according to the PGO statement. The legal assessment of the actions of prosecutor Kulyk will be provided by the State Bureau of Investigation, the spokespersons said.
The official statement of the PGO concludes that “election fever clearly spoils people”.
The initial report claiming that the suspicion notices have been issued against top officials was published by a U.S.-based Russian-language news outlet Forum Daily.
Later, UNIAN published photocopies of suspicion notices against officials in question the agency received at its disposal.