Ex-Naftogaz head Kobolyev fails to post $6.2 million bail, prosecutors say

7 March, 06:20 PM
Andriy Kobolev, former head of Naftogaz (Photo:Група Нафтогаз / Facebook)

Andriy Kobolev, former head of Naftogaz (Photo:Група Нафтогаз / Facebook)

The Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) so far cannot confirm that former Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Kobolyev has posted bail of UAH 229.2 million ($6.2 million), the agency reported on Telegram on March 7.

“On March 1, 2023, the Appeals Chamber of the High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) imposed a pre-trial restriction against former Chairman of the Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine in the form of bail of UAH 229.2 million,” the prosecutors said.

“According to the court’s decision, the suspect had to post bail within five days of the announcement of the court ruling, i.e. by March 3, 2023, as well as undertaking to inform the detective/prosecutor about it.”

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The SAPO emphasized that “contrary to some media reports, as of today (March 7), the court has not seized any of the suspect’s bank accounts in this criminal case.”

“Also, there are currently no initiatives on the part of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the SAPO to block the suspect’s accounts, which would prevent him from using his financial assets.”

On March 2, the owner of the Concord Capital investment company, Ihor Mazepa, announced a fundraiser for Kobolev’s bail.

The businessman planned to collect UAH 229.2 million by March 6 and called on businesses to join the initiative.

“All the collected funds, and we must collect UAH 229.2 million by Monday, March 6, will go on court bail for the biggest enemy of the Russian gas monopoly and a brilliant manager of Naftogaz, Andriy Kobolyev,” Mazepa said.

At the same time, Kobolyev has denied the SAPO’s statement that his accounts were not blocked.

“Given yet another manipulative statement from the SAPO, I would like to share this screenshot,” he wrote on Facebook.

“I received these text messages right before the New Year, right after I told several of my visitors in Kyiv that after the New Year holidays I would come to talk about money from Western partners for the restoration of Ukraine. Of course, the SAPO will now say ‘Oh, it’s not us.’ But who? And why? And on what grounds? Because I still haven’t received an official answer.”

On Jan. 19, 2023, the NABU and the SAPO charged Kobolyev with the abuse of his official position to arrange for a payment of bonuses worth more than UAH 229 million back in 2018.

The prosecutor requested that Kobolyev be held in custody with an alternative bail of UAH 365 million ($9.9 million).

However, the court decided to leave him free.

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