Ukraine’s court rules to arrest ex-central bank governor in absentia

8 December 2022, 08:16 PM
Resolution opens the way for inclusion of Shevchenko in Interpol database (Photo:REUTERS / Tetiana Bondarenko)

Resolution opens the way for inclusion of Shevchenko in Interpol database (Photo:REUTERS / Tetiana Bondarenko)

Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) has ruled to arrest the former governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Kyrylo Shevchenko, in absentia, the NGO Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC) reported via Telegram messenger on Dec. 8.

The resolution paves the way to put Shevchenko on the Interpol database and extradite him from Austria, his current residence, to Ukraine, AntAC says. If he returns to Ukraine willingly, the court ruled that he should be detained at the border and brought to court within 48 hours.

Earlier Shevchenko submitted a motion by e-mail and asked to participate via video at a court hearing on Dec. 8.

Video of day

His lawyers submitted another medical certificate dated Dec. 5, which stated that Shevchenko was undergoing medical treatment at a clinic in Vienna.

“Although it follows from the provided documents that Shevchenko, on the contrary, is feeling better, because he was given three injections a week before, and now he gets only one,” the AntAC said.

According to the prosecutor, nothing prevents Shevchenko from coming to Ukraine during the week between injections, moreover such procedures can be done in Kyiv. As a result, the court denied Shevchenko’s participation via video.

On Oct. 6, Shevchenko was charged with embezzlement as part of an anti-corruption probe into illegal activities taken by state-owned Ukrgasbank – leading to losses over UAH 206 million ($5.6 million).

According to the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), the bank’s management – which included Shevchenko, who was chairman of the board at the bank from 2014 to 2020 – fabricated contracts with individuals and legal entities, who allegedly attracted large customers to the bank as “agents.” For their "services," the bank is said to have illegally paid monthly fees – leading to the multi-million-dollar losses.

This scheme is said to have created 52 fabricated “agents” in total, from 2014 to 2020.

Shevchenko was appointed NBU governor in July 2020 after Yakiv Smolii had abruptly resigned from the post, accusing the country’s leadership of putting pressure on the central bank.

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