The Investigative Department of Kyiv Fiscal Service started a criminal proceeding against the managers of NGO “Anti-Corruption Centre”. A large-scale Government’s smear campaign against this AntAC is taking place in Ukraine and abroad.
The investigation started 2 months ago, on June 9, 2017. This information could be found in the answer of the State Fiscal Service on the request of a lawyer representing the interests of AntAC.
“After consideration of the letter, dated 11.07.2017 we would like to inform that the criminal proceeding No32017000000000081 was added to the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations by the Department of Financial Investigations of the Main Department of the State Fiscal Service in Kyiv on 09.06.2017, according to the third-party appeal”, as stated in the document, received by AntAC.
“Tax officials did not mention any article of criminal code, grounds for the start of a criminal proceeding or claims to AntAC”, comments Olena Scherban, lawyer and AntAC Board member. “This fact shows that the tax authorities are now actively searching for damaging information on us and started a criminal case in advance, and now they will look for other accusations. They will be getting access to our documents, using seizures, searches and wiretap our management, etc.”, Scherban adds.
Anti-Corruption Action Centre considers the start of a criminal proceeding by the Tax Police as continued pressure on the organization and step up of the attempts to block its functioning.
“This is a consistent continuation of the campaign against us, and the main goal is the destruction of the organization. Most likely, the “third party” who filed an appeal, according to which fiscal authorities started a new case, is former assistant of Mykola Martynenko, MP Pavlo Pynzenyk. He threatened us with deprivation of non-profit status. His accusations are so absurd and groundless that even Fiscal Service officials could not qualify them according to the Criminal code. That is why their answer is very vague. In fact, they have nothing to say in regard to our accusations after two months of investigation. Because There are no violations from our side, and there never have been”, explains Vitaliy Shabunin, Head of the Board of AntAC.
Let us recall that active smear campaign started against AntAC this May when Pavlo Pynzenyk presented a video with groundless accusations of organization in violation of tax legislation. AntAC refuted all accusations of MP from “Narodnyi front” and filed a lawsuit against him.