The lawyer told Censor.NET that his meeting with SAP’s Chief Nazar Kholodnytskyi took place on July 23 and was initiated by the defense.
"There must be a mistake. This meeting did take place. I was the one who initiated it. No one discussed Onyshchenko’s possible testimony on it. This meeting had absolutely nothing to do with him. We discussed purely technical issues of the probe against other defendants. Namely, we asked them to observe reasonable timeframe," Ishchenko said.
He stressed that such meetings are legitimate and usual for criminal cases.
"Such technical meetings between a lawyer and a public prosecutor are a common practice authorized by law. Discussing the investigation progress contributes to more smooth pre-trial investigation. Such meetings can be held not only between a lawyer and a prosecutor, but also between a lawyer and the detectives," Ishchenko said.
Earlier, Onyshchenko claimed his lawyer visited the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP) last week at the invitation of the agency head Nazar Kholodnytskyi.
"Kholodnytskyi summoned my lawyer to arrange my testimony to the National Police in the case that they filed against the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU)," he said.
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.
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.