Anti-graft court greenlights investigation of prominent banker’s bribery case in absentia

31 March, 03:28 PM
Oleh Bakhmatyuk (Photo:UkrLandFarming)

Oleh Bakhmatyuk (Photo:UkrLandFarming)

Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court has authorized a pre-trial special investigation into Oleh Bakhmatyuk, the owner of an agricultural holding company, whom the National Anti-Corruption Bureau suspects of bribing former State Fiscal Service head Roman Nasirov.

The press service of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office reported on March 31 the authorization of the special pre-trial investigation. The decision on a special pre-trial investigation will allow the pre-trial investigation against the suspect to be completed, and the case to be referred to the High Anti-Corruption Court or HACC for consideration on merits.

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In March 2023, the HACC charged Bakhmatyuk in absentia on suspicion of providing UAH 722 million ($19.6 million) in undue benefits to the former head of the State Fiscal Service, Roman Nasirov, and his advisor.

Nasirov faces eight to twelve years in prison under Part 4 of Article 368 of the Criminal Code (accepting an offer, promise or receiving an improper advantage by an official), while Bakhmatyuk faces five to ten years in prison under Part 4 of Article 369 of the Criminal Code (proposal, promise or providing an improper advantage to an official).

The Criminal Court of Vienna, Austria has refused to extradite Bakhmatyuk to Ukraine in the VAB Bank case at the request of the Ukrainian prosecutor's office.

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