Prosecutor General Riaboshapka faces no pressure over Burisma case

20:56, 14 November 2019
Politics
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Chief prosecutor Riaboshapka comments on a case related to Burisma / Photo from UNIAN

"[There is] no [pressure] over this case. I'm absolutely aware what I need to do. I do not feel any pressure either from our president or foreign political figures. In general, I am free to do everything that I think is proper and is in line with law, but not anything that somebody else wants," he told Current Time, the Russian-language network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.

He confirms that Burisma is a company whose name is mentioned in "one big criminal case" in Ukraine.

There are also "13 or 14" cases in which owner of Burisma, ex-Minister of Ecology Mykola Zlochevsky is a figure in a case, he said.

Read alsoChief Prosecutor Riaboshapka says no criminal case against Burisma in Ukraine

"Accordingly, they follow the leads from Zlochevsky to Burisma Holdings. As for Burisma, I know one big case with different episodes," he explained.

He declined to clarify whether Hunter Biden is currently a figure in this particular case. Yet, he said, the decision to include Joe Biden's son in the case previously depended on Prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk, who is currently "on sick leave and has not showed up for testing" as part of an official evaluation procedure.

"Under the law in effect, we have no other choice but to say goodbye to Kostiantyn Hennadiyovych [Kulyk]," Riaboshapka said.

A new prosecutor will be assigned to the case.

As was reported on October 25, Kulyk, the deputy head of the International Legal Cooperation Department at the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), had failed to pass an official evaluation test at the PGO.

UNIAN memo. Ukrainian authorities have been probing into money laundering in the amount of over US$33 million during the acquisition of a group of companies of Kherson oil transshipment, in which Wirelogic Technology AS, Digitex Organization LLP, and ex-Minister of Ecology, businessman Mykola Zlochevsky's Burisma Holdings Limited were involved. Hunter Biden, son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, was a member of the latter's board.

On May 14, the then Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, said that Ukraine was ready to transfer materials on Burisma to U.S. law enforcement agencies. According to him, the investigation had a printout of all Burisma payments, including to senior U.S. officials. Yet, Lutsenko emphasized, the foreigners who were involved in the management of Burisma had not violated Ukrainian legislation.

On September 24, after a whistleblower's complaint, the White House unprecedentedly published a redacted version of the memorandum of the July 25 telephone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, which became the cause behind a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump. According to the memorandum, Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky to "look into" the situation regarding a probe into Biden's son in Ukraine.

The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said on September 27 its detectives were looking into the period of Burisma Holdings Limited's activity over possible abuse of office by Ecology Ministry officials before Hunter Biden joined the company's supervisory board.

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