Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) on Jan. 9, on the instructions of the prosecutor of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), have opened for former Ukrainian MP and former chairman of the Verkhovna Rada committee on fuel and energy complex Mykola Martynenko and his lawyers the access to criminal materials on the embezzlement of the funds of State Enterprise Eastern (Skhidny) Mining and Processing Combine (VostGOK) and Energoatom, the NABU’s press service has reported.
According to the report, the ex-MP is suspected of organizing the large-scale embezzlement by an organized group and a criminal organization of some else’s property through abuse of office; creating a criminal organization for the purpose of committing particularly serious crimes, managing such an organization, participating in it and in crimes committed by such an organization; as well as organizing the large-scale legalization (laundering) by a criminal organization of proceeds from crime.
Other suspects in this proceeding are the current leaders of VostGOK, the Nuclear Fuel State Concern, NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy, PJSC United Mining-Chemical Company and a structural subdivision of the Energoatom nuclear energy generating company.
NABU detectives started the investigation into the embezzlement of Energoatom’s funds worth 6.4 million euros in Dec. 2015. On Oct. 25, the former MP was notified about the suspicion as part of this proceeding under Part 5, Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (misappropriation, embezzlement or possession of property through abuse of office).
The investigation into the embezzlement of VostGOK’s funds worth $17.28 million was also launched in December 2015. On April 20, the ex-MP and former chairman of the parliamentary committee on fuel and energy complex was notified of the suspicion in committing crimes under Part 3, Article 27, Part 4, Article 28, Part 5, Article 191 and Part 1, Article 255 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (organizing the large-scale embezzlement by a criminal organization of someone else’s property through abuse of office, creating a criminal organization for the purpose of committing particularly serious crimes, running such an organization, participating in it and in crimes committed by such an organization).
In November 2017, the procedural leader, SAPO prosecutor, decided to merge the two criminal proceedings into one. Eleven persons have currently been declared suspects in this joint criminal proceeding, and five of them were placed on the wanted list.
In this proceeding, the issue concerns former People’s Front MP Mykola Martynenko, who, at the beginning of the work of the current Verkhovna Rada, headed the committee on fuel and energy complex.
As reported, late in 2014, Czech media outlet Novinky.cz reported that the Swiss prosecutor’s office was investigating the case suspecting Skoda JS (the nuclear unit of the group) of bribing the head of the Verkhovna Rada committee on fuel and energy complex, Martynenko.
According to Novinky.cz, the purpose of such a bribe could have been the receipt of orders for equipment for a nuclear power plant from Ukraine’s Energoatom. The money was transferred through Panama’s Bradcrest Investment. According to Swiss law, suspects in the case face a fine of one million francs and five years in prison.
MP and journalist Serhiy Leshchenko reported on March 22, 2015 that the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland opened a criminal case against Martynenko. He said that he had sent a request to the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine with the request to report whether the case was opened or not. After two-and-a-half months, he received an answer from the embassy with reference to the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland.
On Nov. 30, 2015, Martynenko reported the abdication of his deputy powers due to the corruption scandal around him and, according to him, an “information campaign” against him. On Dec. 1, he registered a respective statement in the Verkhovna Rada. On Dec. 22, 2015, the parliament adopted a draft resolution on the abdication of his deputy powers.
On April 20, NABU detectives and SAPO prosecutors detained Martynenko and First Deputy CEO of Naftogaz Ukrainy Serhiy Pereloma on suspicion of committing crimes under Part 1, Article 255 (the creation of a criminal organization) and Part 5, Article 191 (misappropriation, embezzlement of property or possession of it through abuse of office) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On April 24, Judge of the Solomiansky District Court of Kyiv Oleksandr Bobrovnyk refused to arrest Martynenko with the alternative to post Hr 300 million and released him under on personal recognizance of a number of people’s deputies.