FBI: Ukraine politicians unwilling to share details about Yanukovych's schemes
An FBI agent says Ukrainian politicians are unwilling to share information about former President Viktor Yanukovych's schemes, according to the Ukrainian-language media outlet, Radio Svoboda (Radio Liberty).
The FBI's Supervisory Special Agent Karen Greenaway said at the Third Asset Recovery Conference in Kyiv on December 15, that the biggest problem in the case is the lack of witnesses as Ukrainian politicians do not want to disclose how Yanukovych's schemes worked.
"We're working, we count on your cooperation, we need documents, we need witnesses. Let me say that the biggest problem in the Yanukovych case is witnesses – nobody is ready to testify and say that 'Yes, I was present when this scheme was being elaborated,'" she said.
Greenaway says that her team, which has been working for past 18 months to investigate corruption schemes and recover stolen assets, has collected and transferred a number of evidence to the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine, Radio Liberty wrote.
In her words, FBI agents were unable to establish communication with Ukrainian law enforcers for a long period of time, but finally they succeeded in finding common ground.
Currently, Greenaway is assigned to the FBI's International Corruption Unit where she focuses on foreign corruption investigations involving violations of anti-money laundering laws.
Read alsoCrime against Ukrainians: U.S. Ambassador on money siphoning by Yanukovych regimeUkrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko earlier said that $1.5 billion in seized assets belonging to Yanukovych's allies had not been returned to the Ukrainian budget yet.
"In order to let Ukraine hope for international support in the recovery of stolen assets, we should demonstrate that we've been doing our best to return the assets that are in Ukraine. It's a shame when $1.5 billion seized by the government and law-enforcement agencies has not been transferred to the national budget yet," he said.
Read alsoU.S., Canada, EU hail Ukraine's anti-corruption achievementsIn his words, it is difficult for Ukraine to ask the partner countries where Ukrainian assets have been seized to return the money if the Ukrainian authorities themselves are unable to do this in their own country.