Ihor Kolomoisky / Photo from UNIAN

Businessman Igor Kolomoisky in a statement addressed to Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova asked that a pre-trial criminal investigation be launched targeting former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, former NBU Governor Valeria Gontareva, and her deputy Kateryna Rozhkova. He is pressing charges of misappropriation of the assets, money laundering, illegal collection and use of confidential banking information, and abuse of power.

In the statement seen by UNIAN, Kolomoisky notes that the content of the what's purported to be recordings of conversations between Poroshenko and the then-Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, recently published by MP Andriy Derkach, in conjunction with other facts and circumstances he is aware of suggests that Poroshenko, acting as president of Ukraine, conspired with the then NBU Governor Gontareva, her deputy Rozhkova, and several other unidentified persons, for the purpose of unlawful nationalization of PrivatBank CB JSC and, as a consequence, misappropriation of its assets.

He recalls that up to a certain time, PrivatBank's asset structure included Studio 1+1, which as of 2016 had a reach of over 27 million viewers.

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"Being aware of these circumstances, Poroshenko, holding the post of President of Ukraine, having been entitled to a significant volume of power in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, decided to gain operational control over the Bank's assets, including, Studio 1+1 TV and Radio Company LLC, in order to strengthen his political influence within the country and shape a positive image among the population," the statement said.

Poroshenko, as noted in the statement, had working contacts and meetings with representatives of international financial organizations, during which, as a purported phone conversation with Biden testifies, the former president became aware that IMF representatives were initiating the issue of Privatbank nationalization as one of the conditions for Ukraine to receive financial assistance.

"Thus, being aware of the issue, following a previously developed criminal plan and having the intent to misappropriate the Bank's assets, Poroshenko, together with Gontareva, Rozhkova, and other unidentified persons, decided to exploit the situation described above to hinder the Bank's legitimate commercial activities and, under the guise of legal procedures, to realize their criminal intent to seize the Bank's assets and, in particular, the Studio 1 + 1 TV and Radio Company LLC," the statement said.

"Following his criminal plan, Poroshenko, who had in the past held posts of a Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Banking, Chair of the Supervisory Board of the National Bank of Ukraine, and therefore being aware of how media publications about the alleged financial instability of a banking institution could affect its functioning, organized through unidentified persons a discrediting media campaign against the Bank, aiming to destabilize its operations, by cultivating panic among depositors and, as a result, the outflow of deposit funds, which would be extremely negative for its sustainable operation. Gontareva and Rozhkova, having conspired with Poroshenko and having received from him a relevant instruction, made public statements in the media, as NBU top managers, about the allegedly high risks of the Bank's financial insolvency, thereby deliberately destabilizing its work and, together with Poroshenko, hindering its legitimate commercial activity, "the statement said.

Read also"Critical": Biden put pressure on Poroshenko on PrivatBank nationalization, leak claims

In addition, Kolomoisky noted in his statement that Gontareva and Rozhkova, while acting on Poroshenko's instructions, in the fall of 2016 set up an NBU audit at PrivatBank to further initiate and conduct illegal nationalization, which was held with significant violations of Ukraine's banking legislation.

" Gontareva, together with Rozhkova, fulfilling Poroshenko's criminal instructions and realizing a joint criminal intent, without waiting for the conclusions of the NBU audit, without conducting a mandatory joint audit with an independent audit organization, without providing the owners time to present a recapitalization program, abusing their official position and flagrantly violating the requirements of the current legislation, on December 18, 2016, recognized the Bank as insolvent, after which Gontareva, on the same day, turned to the Government, which in turn immediately decided to nationalize it. The fact that the recognition of the Bank as insolvent and the Government decision on its nationalization came on the same day, namely December 18, 2016, testifies to the conspiracy by Poroshenko, who had been exerting pressure on the Government, Gontareva, Rozhkova, and other unidentified persons," the statement said.

Also, Kolomoisky says the leaks testify that "Poroshenko, without having the appropriate authority, abusing his power with respect to Gontareva, received from the latter and employed to realize his criminal intent, the findings of the Bank's audits, which were confidential banking data, thereby committing together with Gontareva, the act of deliberate disclosure of confidential banking information without the consent of its owner," Kolomoisky notes.

"Thus, the unlawful, criminal actions committed by Poroshenko, Gontareva, Rozhkova, and a number of other unidentified persons led to the illegal nationalization of PrivatBank CB JSC, after which these persons, abusing power and official position, contributed to the withdrawal of the Bank’s funds to the accounts of Belize-based offshore companies, thereby legalizing (laundering) the funds obtained by criminal means. Under these conditions, this suggests that Poroshenko, Gontareva, Rozhkova, and a number of other unidentified persons who acted in conspiracy, inflicted moral and material damage on and committed criminal offenses against me," the statement says.