"NABU repeatedly proposed Onyshchenko to hand over the originals of the audio files including in the public spotlight, in particular, during an interview that the Bureau detectives held as part of the so-called ‘Gas case’ via Skype in December 2016. NABU has never obtained the tapes," Ukraine’s anti-corruption watchdog said in a statement, Censor.NET reports.
Subject to receipt of the original records, the agency expressed willingness to examine them "within its competence."
On March 16, the NABU raided the office of Onyshchenko. It stated the searches were carried out under the pre-trial investigation into abuse of office during the sale of natural gas extracted jointly with Ukrhazvydobuvannia SE.
Later, the NABU requested the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) to remove the immunity from people's deputy Onyshchenko. Moreover, the NABU and the PGO claim Onyshchenko is involved in embezzlement of 1.6 billion hryvnia (approx. $64.02 million).
On June 16, Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko issued a motion requesting Verkhovna Rada's consent for criminal prosecution, arrest, and pre-trial detention of Onyshchenko. On July 5, the parliament approved the detention and arrest of the lawmaker.
The suspect himself stated he was busy with the preparation for the upcoming Olympics and not going to react to NABU's actions. On July 29, Onyshchenko said he was in the U.K. and had applied for political asylum.
Read more: MP Onyshchenko has records of Poroshenko discussing buying votes and Ukrhazvydobuvannia's shadow dividends, - Dzerkalo Tyzhnia
On Dec. 1, 2016, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced it suspected fugitive MP Onyshchenko of high treason. As noted, the MP acquired Russian citizenship in exchange for cooperation with Russian authorities to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. On the same day, Onyshchenko said he had provided compromising materials against President Poroshenko to the U.S. intelligence.