Military tourism: head of Ukrainian Interpol gains questionable benefits
Vasyl Nevolia, head of the Ukrainian Interpol Bureau since 2008, deliberately went for a short working trip to the Donbas conflict zone in order to avoid lustration and gain a status of ATO combatant, according to the journalist investigation of Hromadske.tv.
According to the Law of Ukraine "On cleansing of power," Nevolia and his deputies, Ivan Ozhelivskiy and Mykhailo Bakhmutchenko, should have automatically fallen under lustration (Part 6 of Article 2 and Part 7 of Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine "On cleansing of power").
At the end of 2014, the officials organized a trip to the Donbas conflict zone, which lasted for only four days, according to the journalists.
An employee of the Office for Combating Organized Crime in Kyiv region, who had served in Kramatorsk in Donetsk region for more than six months, told the journalists that he had never seen Nevolia while in Donbas.
"Tourists – they can’t be called otherwise. They arrived, stayed there for four days, and gained the ATO combatant status. It is not fair," an officer said.
According to journalists, even such a formal trip secured Interpol officials the status of combatants.
Journalists say they have received exclusive documents proving the trip of the officials to the Donbas conflict zone had no necessity, but plain military tourism.
According to the documents, on September 19, 2014, the officials were ordered to visit police departments in Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk for a period of four days. According to the reports of Nevolia and his deputies, the main purpose of the trip was an audit of investigation into high-profile criminal cases, and also the working meetings. Consequently, the Interpol officers had no legal grounds to claim the status of combatants. Nevolia and his deputies were not directly involved in the Anti-terrorist Operation. Their visits did not provide for the protection of independence or territorial integrity of Ukraine," the report says.