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24.3 24.65
26.7 27.25
Politics 2019-09-20T04:04:22+03:00
Ukrainian news
Myroslav Prodan is fully acquitted

Myroslav Prodan is fully acquitted

Detectives from the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) found evidence that Poroshenko’s corrupt entourage profiting by smuggling schemes fabricated a case against the head of the State Fiscal Service

The case of the head of the tax and customs services of Ukraine Myroslav Prodan became one of the huge scandals of 2018. The main fiscal of the country was accused of allegedly buying a villa near Kyiv and two houses in Turkish Bodrum. The property was titled in an old Prodan’s friend’s name – Maksym Pavytskyi.

As prosecution evidence, the prosecutor's office cited correspondence in the Telegram messenger received by the Security Service of Ukraine. In this correspondence, Maksym Pavytskyi receives instructions on the purchase of real estate and the transfer of funds.

In December of 2018, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office insisted on Prodan’s arrest, but in early March of 2019 the case was closed. The charges of illegal enrichment were dismissed from the former main fiscal of Ukraine.

Today, Prodan’s lawyers are pushing for the state to find and punish those who fabricated the case and wanted to imprison Prodan on evidence-free accusations.

“The man was slandered, and then the charges were simply dismissed. Why didn’t anyone apologize, why wasn’t anyone who fabricated the case punished? ” a lawyer Olga Prosianiuk asks.

The State Bureau of Investigation has already opened a criminal proceeding against two prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, Serhii Kozachyna and Volodymyr Kryvenko. They are accused of deliberately not including in the case materials that prove Myroslav Prodan’s innocence. The court was first shown fake testimonies, as well as falsified data on sending subpoenas. Prosecutors, for example, ignored the fact that neither Prodan, nor members of his family had ever been in the property the ownership of which they were credited with.

Accusations can be brought forward not only to prosecutors of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office. SBI detectives suspect that one of the leaders of the Security Service of Ukraine in early 2018 instructed his subordinates to create fake correspondence in the messenger, which would compromise Prodan.

The GBR detectives went suspicious because of Maksym Pavytskyi's smartphone, seized by law enforcement officers during a search in the summer of 2018. The device could not be unlocked in Ukraine, and the Prosecutor’s Office sent it to Israel. As Israeli experts found out, a Telegram messenger was really installed in the device, but there was no correspondence with Myroslav Prodan in the smartphone. Correspondence filed in the criminal case was not from the phone of the main fiscal’s friend, but files taken from some USB-drive. The SSU claimed that they found the carrier during a search of the Prodan’s driver on July 9, 2018. It is noteworthy that the driver himself was not at home during the search. According to Soldan’s lawyers, SSU was able to upload whatever they see fit to the USB. Lawyer Olha Prosianiuk claims that neither the Prosecutor’s Office, nor the SSU could afterwards explain how the correspondence could get to the driver. It is difficult to suspect a young guy that he was recruited by the security service. According to prosecutor Serhii Kozachyna, the driver was so devoted to his boss that he took discharge from the fiscal service with him.

The examination dispelled doubts that the correspondence was fake in fine. Several authoritative expert institutions came to the same conclusion that some of the files were uploaded to the USB after it was removed by the SSU.

“The correspondence was imitated by the SSU employees themselves, so it was not “found” on the phones, but on a USB stick in Prodan’s driver’s house. It is not possible to upload falsified correspondence on the telephone. All that the SSU specialists could do was to upload fake correspondence to a storage media that would belong to someone who knows Prodan”, a communication technology expert Borys Shatskov says.

According to the famous Ukrainian journalist Yurii Butusov, the SSU General Serhii Kovalenko is responsible for the case against Prodan. The authoritative Ukrainian publication Zerkalo Tyzhnia (“Mirror of the Week”) called Kovalenko “backer” of the customs shadow schemes, profitable to the top management of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Security Service.

The well-known Ukrainian investigative journalist Denys Bihus’ “Our Money” program (his investigation of corruption in the defence industry caused a huge resonance in society that prevented Petro Poroshenko from being elected president again), found out that Kovalenko systematically blocked the work of Ukrainian exporters and importers. Companies got the opportunity to conduct operations only after they “agreed” with law enforcement officers. Exporters of nuts, importers of liquefied gas, fabrics, cognac spirit complained about the actions of the general’s subordinates.

The conflict between Prodan and the SSU leadership took place in early 2018. The head of the tax and customs services could make it so that the government deprived the Security Service of the right to conduct inspections by the companies conducting international economic activity. This was not forgiven.

The conflict escalated further in June of 2018. The government of Volodymyr Hroisman decided at all costs to receive an additional $ 4 billion from the state budget by strengthening the fight against smuggling. It was mostly about the flows that overpassed the customs control. For example, the smuggling of petroleum products from ships in neutral waters. Tens of thousands of tons of fuel were monthly transferred to small vessels, which then was illegally pumped onto tankers without border and customs control. All of these schemes were under the SSU control.

Besides, Myroslav Prodan introduced total control over timber exports: each truck with a load of timber was inspected, photographed, and the data was entered into the base of the central office of the State Fiscal Service. The volume of supplies of so-called firewood, under the guise of which round timber was exported from Ukraine, sharply decreased. As a result, in addition to influential enemies in the SSU, Myroslav Prodan got another powerful enemy – the Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko. The eldest son of the official – Oleksandr Lutsenko – owns a number of companies that are engaged in timber holesale trade and export.

“The Telegram correspondence is the result of Prodan’s fight against smuggling and those heads of the SSU and the Prosecutor’s Office who“sheltered” it,” political analyst Andrii Zolotariov says.

According to media, many of those who fabricated the case against Myroslav Prodan have already left Ukraine for fear of criminal prosecution. Nevertheless, the lawyers of the former head of the State Fiscal Service are determined to bring the story to a close and to find out in the courts that the charges against their client were fabricated from the very beginning. “We want to prove that the allegations of buying real estate were not just a mistake, it was a planned campaign against a person who fought against smuggling, in which President Poroshenko’s inner circle was involved,” a lawyer Olha Prosianiuk said.