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The former owner of VAB Bank, Oleg Bakhmatyuk, has commented on a news report published by Ukrainska Pravda reporting an alleged unwarranted delay with his extradition and condemned the double standards applied by the investigators. 

‘I believe that this ‘information from sources within the law enforcement community’ is a deliberate ‘leak’ by NABU, which must be investigated by the law enforcement authorities. The purpose of this ‘leak’ is to put pressure on Prosecutor General Venediktova to force her to issue an unlawful decision. We find ourselves in a situation where the investigation authorities and HACCU are acting not according to the spirit and letter of the law but are using a double-standards tactic’, stated the businessman. 

He points out that in other cases under identical circumstances, the High Anticorruption Court, when petitioned by NABU, has refused to issue arrest warrants, in particular against top officials of the Yanukovich era, Andriy Kluyev and Oleksandr Klymenko. That is why the businessman considers wrongful his arrest warrant issued in absentia. According to Bakhmatyuk, ‘the Appeals Chamber of the Anticorruption Court’ has ‘a trio of Sytnyk’s that rules at the pleasure of NABU’.  

‘I think it is absurd that NABU is seeking an arrest warrant against me by claiming they are not aware of my whereabouts’, says the businessman. ‘They are known not only to NABU, my lawyers have communicated them to all interested investigation authorities. To put it mildly, it is weird to put a person on the wanted list when their whereabouts are well-known’.

The Office of the Prosecutor General, for its part, has stated that an opinion of the Specialised Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office ‘on the reasonableness of the adopted procedural decisions’ does not confirm ‘the lawfulness of the decision to put Mr. Bakhmatyuk on the international wanted list’. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova’s office has stated that the Anticorruption Bureau attempted earlier to declare Bakhmatyuk wanted via Interpol. But the international organisation declined NABU’s request.