Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko says the so-called "black ledgers" of the Party of the Regions – accounting papers where the amounts of money paid by the disgraced Ukrainian ex-president Viktor Yanukovych for various services – had no signature by the party's U.S. political consultant Paul Manafort that would confirm the actual receipt of money and therefore cannot serve as a sole evidence of him receiving such payments from Ukrainian politicians.
Instead, in the parts of the table with Manafort's name on it and the sums paid, there are signatures of Ukrainian MP Yevhen Heller, Lutsenko told Radio NV, ZN.ua reports.
He added that former deputy head of the SBU Viktor Trepak, who had the "black ledgers" at his disposal never disclosed their contents. He forwarded the evidence to the National anti-Corruption Bureau.
"Let's recall that story... Trepak said that he had received the 'black ledgers' of the Party of Regions, with many names, sums, and signatures. Mr. Trepak [...] said that these materials were classified, he considered it unacceptable to publish them so he submitted them to NABU , indicating the need to maintain a regime of secrecy," said the prosecutor general.
"A professional and a principled person that he is, Viktor Trepak made a very right step," Lutsenko emphasized.
After that, Lutsenko continued, MP Serhiy Leshchenko said that the "black ledgers" include information about payments to a U.S. political consultant Paul Manafort, who once worked for Viktor Yanukovych, and in 2016 headed Donald Trump's campaign. NABU Director Artem Sytnyk then confirmed the report voiced by Leshchenko.
Lutsenko stated that the lack of Manafort's signatures in the "black ledgers" had been established by the examination, and the NABU chief "could not been unaware of the fact when declaring that there was evidence of Manafort directly receiving those funds."
At the same time, the top prosecutor did not rule out that the political consultant ultimately received the money for his services as the amounts received on offshore accounts are comparable with the sums indicated in the said ledgers.