During the pre-trial investigation of the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Vitaliy Zakharchenko, who is currently in hiding abroad, the General Prosecutor of Ukraine seized “everything, discovered at this current time, as the property of the suspect,” according to a document sent by the Office of the General Prosecutor at the request of the Anti-corruption Action Center.
Specifically, the property items that were seized include the following: a residential home in the village Dolya, located in the Volnovas’kyi region of Donetsk oblast, where there are ongoing battle hostilities; a quarter of his apartment located at 44a Shchorsa Street in Kyiv, a parking lot located at 12 Dragomanova Street in Kyiv, and some money placed in bank accounts.
The Prosecutor General’s Office is still searching for other property of the former minister, his relatives, and “other people implicated in his circle.”
“It’s funny, when a person, through front companies owned significant gold deposits in Ukraine, and they [the Office of the Prosecutor General] seize a garage and a building in the ATO zone,” says Vitaliy Shabunin, Head of the Board of the Anti-corruption Action Center. “During a year and half, the fact that they were not able to collect enough evidence, which journalists had gathered for the General Prosecutor in the first place, means only one thing: the case against Zakharchenko is being drained the same way as most of the investigations into the economic crimes committed by Yanukovych’s henchmen,” concludes Shabunin.
From the document, it is known that four criminal proceedings have been initiated against the former minister Zakharchenko and that in three of them, Zakharchenko has been announced as being under suspicion.
So, the Office of the Prosecutor General suspects the former Minister of Internal Affairs of the following three crimes:
- “abuse of power and official authority” and “the organization of intentional homicide”;
- “misappropriation, embezzlement, or theft of property through the abuse of office on a large scale”;
- and illegal imprisonment and kidnapping through conspiracy.
In addition, the General Prosecutor is investigating the facts regarding illegal enrichment by the former Minister of Internal Affairs and illicit money. However, in a document signed by the Deputy Attorney General Y. Stolyarchuk, it was not specified exactly which instances investigators are examining.
“We sent a statement regarding the crimes of Zakharchenko to the General Prosecutor of Ukraine already in February 2014, in which we described in detail his network of Ukrainian and offshore companies, and also the false persons, through whom Zakharchenko owned a marble quarry,” explains Daryna Kaleniuk, the Executive Director of the Anti-corruption Action Center. “If the General Prosecutor of Ukraine were truly investigating the case, all the deposits and companies of the former minister, as well as luxury estates and apartments, about which journalists are constantly writing, would already have been seized,” explains Kaleniuk.
You can find only here at the Anti-corruption Action Center, as a part of the project UKRAW, at least 6 cases about the former minister Zakharchenko with confirmed documentation.