Ukraine is trying to seize control of oil giant Burisma group
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Ukraine is trying to seize control of oil giant Burisma group

Thursday, 20 August 2020
This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.

In June, Ukrainian officials claimed that they had been offered over 4 million euros in bribes to end a probe into energy company Burisma’s founder, Nikolai Zlochevskyi.

The money was the largest cash bribe ever seized in the country. It was showcased during a press briefing, and brought out by masked men in see-through plastic bags.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has effectively been acting as an instrument for the seizure of Burisma group from Nikolai Zlochevskyi.

Yevgeniy Shevchenko, an agent working for the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) was one of the provocateurs of the record bribe, and spoke about the incident in an interview with PavlovskyNews.

According to Shevchenko, the goal is now to take Burisma and sign it over to the ARMA (The National Agency of Ukraine for finding, tracing and managing assets derived from corruption and other crimes), in order to subsequently transfer it to other private investors for management. Mr. Shevchenko even went as far as suggesting that the death penalty ought to be applied.

Shevchenko also confirmed that these sanctions are a “roadmap” for Mr. Zlochevskyi and the agreed position of NABU. Earlier in an interview with censor.net, Shevchenko also similarly stated that “The Burisma company will be confiscated and will come under the control of the state. At least this is the goal today.”

It is noteworthy that Mr. Shevchenko gave these interviews before the court hearing, which could be considered as a conflict of interest and pressure on the judicial system and judges to make biased decisions.

Let us recall that Pyotr Boyko, lawyer of Nikolai Zlochevskyi, previously commented on the actions of NABU. He considers the actions of NABU illegal and contrary to the norms of the criminal procedure legislation of Ukraine.

This is evidenced by his statement in response to the message about the search for Zlochevskyi. The lawyer claimed that his client is not hiding, which was reported to the investigation team legitimately.

“After the notification from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine about the need for N.V. Zlochevskyi to appear for interrogation, I informed Vitaliy Pisnyi, head of the detective group of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, on July 21, 2020, at 10:00 am, about Mr Zlochevskyi”s residence outside Ukraine. I provided the investigation team with the information about the host country and the exact address of residence of N.V. Zlochevskyi, as well as information that N.V. Zlochevskyi is ready to cooperate with the investigation team and to testify in this case,” Pyotr Boyko said in his statement.

Nikolai Zlochevskyi is ready to cooperate with the investigation. His lawyer claims that he is not hiding.

Burisma Group is one of the largest private gas production companies in Ukraine with an annual production of about one billion hydrocarbons. The company is one of the largest taxpayers in the country. It actively invests in mining and production development, and supports social projects.