Probe into Onyshchenko's 'gas case' completed: fraud caused losses worth about 1.6B hryvnia, - NABU

On July 26, detectives of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) completed a pretrial investigation of the case against Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine deputy Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who is suspected of organizing a corrupt practice to steal public funds during the extraction and sale of natural gas under agreements on joint activities with Ukrhazvydobuvannia PJSC. The investigation has been dubbed "the gas case."

This was said in the statement posted on NABU's website, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.

"Since the suspect is outside Ukraine, his lawyers are notified about the completion of the investigation, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 24-1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine," NABU said.

The suspects and their legal counsels have been granted access to the case files. When they consult with the case files, an indictment will be drawn up for further referral to the court.

Investigators believe that MP Onyshchenko was the founder and leader of the crime ring, which members embezzled more than 1.6 billion hryvnia during transactions involving the natural gas. These unlawful actions caused damage to Ukrhazvydobuvannia PJSC (100 percent owned by the state-run Naftohaz Ukrainy NJSC) worth more than 740 million hryvnia.

On March 16, 2016, 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, 2016, 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, 2016, 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, 2016, 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.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3078592