Former Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Yuriy Hrymchak suspected of fraud has been released from custody.
"Hrymchak's case. Finally, Yuriy Mykolaiovych [Hrymchak] is free," his lawyer Dmytro Melnyk wrote on Facebook on January 30.
Hrymchak's wife has also confirmed this information.
"Today the court considered our motion to change the preventive measure against Hrymchak. We had the right to file a motion within 30 days. Judge [Kateryna] Shyroka has changed the preventive measure to round-the-clock house arrest," another lawyer Tatyana Matyash told the Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Hrymchak and his assistant, Ihor Ovdienko, were detained on August 14, 2019, on bribery charges.
The two officials allegedly demanded US$1.1 million from a representative of a legal entity for "exercising influence on decision-making by persons authorized to perform state functions." Hrymchak and his assistant were caught red-handed amid receiving part of the sum in the amount of US$480,000, the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said.
On August 15, Hrymchak and his assistant were notified of suspicion under Part 4 of Article 190 "Fraud Committed on an Especially Large Scale or by an Organized Group" of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. "The individuals by deception took possession of other people's property – money in a particularly large amount," NABU added.
The crime under the said article is punishable by imprisonment for a term from five to 12 years with confiscation of property.
On August 16, judge of Chernihiv's Desniansky district court Natalia Liamzina ruled to take Hrymchak into custody, setting bail at UAH 6 million (US$241,448).
On August 17, Chernihiv's Desniansky district court ruled to take Ihor Ovdienko, Hrymchak's assistant, into custody for two months, setting bail at UAH 4 million (US$160,965).
On October 8, Kyiv's Pechersky district court extended Hrymchak's detention until November 14.
On November 14, the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) extended Hrymchak's detention for another two months.
On December 20, an HACC judge reduced the amount of bail by almost 67%.