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 Nasirov reasserts his innocence, considers his detention illegal

Suspended Chairman of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine Roman Nasirov considers charges brought against him to be completely unfounded.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Ukrinform, he said Monday at a hearing of Kyiv's Court of Appeal considering an appeal against decision of the Solomianskyi district court to impose on him pre-trial detention with the right to post 100 million hryvnia in bail.

"I'd like to reiterate that I am not guilty. I believe that all the charges against me are completely unfounded. I think my detention was completely unlawful and was conducted in violation of all procedural rules. More than anyone, I am personally interested in public hearing of this case so that the whole country could see what kind of trial this is - a populist one initiated by the NABU detectives, "he said.

Read more: Full text of indictment against suspended tax service chief Nasirov

Nasirov said that the economic expert analysis conducted by the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise (KFI), according to which he was charged with embezzlement of 2 billion hryvnia of public funds, was based on the documents "that were not even valid guidelines when the analysis was being made and were by no means regulatory legal acts."

In turn, prosecutors said at the hearing that 100 million hryvnia (over $3.7 million) in bail was "insufficient", and requested the court to increase this amount up to 2 billion hryvnia.

Read more: Pre-trial probe in Nasirov case may take up to four months, lawyer says

Nasirov's lawyers requested vacation of ruling of the court of the first instance to impose pretrial detention on their client. Besides, they sought the motion of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP) to increase the bail up to 2 billion hryvnia to be dismissed.

March 2, NABU and SAP agents arrived at Feofania hospital to serve an indictment for criminal offence against Ukraine's chief taxman Roman Nasirov. The doctors barred the investigators and prosecutor from entering the ward saying Nasirov had allegedly suffered a heart attack. SAP head Nazar Kholodnytskyi said the decision to launch procedural activities into the case was made due to possible Nasirov's departure abroad and elimination of evidence. A video footage of Nasirov being served an indictment in Feofania hospital has been posted online.

SAP accuses Nasirov of taking unreasonable decisions on restructuring rental fees for the extraction of minerals, which helped Ukraine's fugitive MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko implement corruption schemes he is being charged with. This had led to 2 billion hryvnia damage to the state ($74 million). Onyshchenko said the investigation would "prove nothing: there were no money in my relations with Nasirov."

Later, NABU said it was preparing a bail hearing inquiry regarding Nasirov. The detainee's lawyers say that Nasirov's health deteriorated and he underwent another surgery. SAP head Kholodnytskyi said he doubted Nasirov's diagnosis.

March 3, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine suspended Nasirov from office pending investigation. Myroslav Prodan was appointed acting head of the State Fiscal Service.

Nasirov said in an interview he had cooperated with the investigation since mid-2016.

Tax and customs service chief Roman Nasirov was first taken to the courtroom on March 4.

However, after he was examined by a doctor, the judge ruled to postpone the meeting to choose a preventive measure against Nasirov until the next day. On March 5, after the judge refused to adjourn the session again, the defense demanded his recusal, and the hearing halted.

Meanwhile, Automaidan activists gathered outside the courthouse to stay overnight and prevent Nasirov's possible escape. In the morning, more activists began to arrive at the court building.

After the session started, the court denied the disqualification of the judge and rejected a forensic examination of Nasirov's state. During the meeting it became known that Nasirov has the citizenship of Great Britain and Hungary.

As a result, after 3 a.m. on March 7, Judge of the Solomianskyi district court of Kyiv Oleksandr Bobrovnyk, partially granted the motion of the prosecution, having remanded Nasirov in a 60-day custody, until April 30, 2017, with the possibility to be released on a 100 million hryvnia bail. It should be noted that the prosecution wanted the bail to be set at 2 billion hryvnia. Ex-deputy prosecutor general David Sakvarelidze said at the rally outside the courthouse that the Presidential Administration required the court to reduce Nasirov's bail to 10 million hryvnia. In turn, Poroshenko said he was not advised on the progress in the proceeding against Nasirov.

Consideration of the appeal against Nasirov's arrest was scheduled for March 13.
   
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